Florida Boating Accidents and Deaths on the Rise

September 12, 2009

The United States Coast Guard recently released its study on boating accident which occurred in 2008.  Unfortunately, the study indicates deaths occurring in boating accidents are on the rise.  The Coast Guard reported that boating fatalities increased from 5.3 per 100,000 registered recreational boaters to 5.6 in 2008.  The Coast Guard recorded a total of 709 boating deaths in 2008, 3,331 boating injuries, approximately 54 million dollars in damage to property, all arising out of 4,789 boating accidents.  The primary causes of the accidents, injuries and property damage are operator inattention, careless or reckless operation, no proper lookout, operator inexperience, and passenger or skier behavior. 

Florida boat accident attorney Joseph M. Maus also points out that many of the accidents involve alcohol consumption.  The Coast Guard’s report indicates that alcohol consumption was listed as the leading contributing factor in 17% of the boating wrongful deaths that occurred in 2008.   

The number of recent Florida boating accidents did improve in one category relating to those boating accidents caused by alcohol use.  In 2007, Florida had more alcohol related boating accidents, and alcohol related boating wrongful deaths, than any other state.  But, California now carries the banner for 2008 as the state having the most alcohol related boating accidents and boating wrongful deaths. 

Simple precautionary measures can be taken to drastically reduce the likelihood of Florida boating accidents, injury or boating wrongful death, say Attorney Maus.  For starters, over 2/3 of the boating accident wrongful death victims drowned. Of those victims, 90% were not wearing a life jacket.  Boating accidents occur very suddenly and usually do not give the driver or passengers time to react.  The simple use of Personal Flotation Device (PFD) could be the difference between life and death during a boating accident.   

Most states, including Florida, offer boat owners and operators a boating safety course.  However, very few boat operators take advantage of these classes.  Only 10% of the boating wrongful deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received a boating safety instruction course. 

There are many factors which contribute to serious boating accidents in Florida.  These include the items mentioned above such as wearing a PFD, and attending a boating safety course.  However, in order to fully investigate the cause of Florida boating accidents or injuries, you need to consider the location of the accident, navigational markers and rules governing the area, the tides, wind, time of day, type of boats involved in the accident, and many other factors. 

Florida boating accident lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, has operated boats throughout South Florida, the Bahamas and Florida Keys for over 30 years.  If you or a loved one have been involved in any serious Florida boating accidents, get advice from the experienced Florida boating accident lawyers at the Law Office of Joseph M. Maus, to determine your rights.  For a free, no obligation consultation, call Toll Free 866-556-5529 or log onto http://www.mauslawfirm.com today.


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