As the summer months approach Florida’s waters will fill with boaters and people enjoying water sports and beaches. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were almost 900,000 registered boaters in the state in 2014. Â While Florida ranks third in the country for registered boats, it ranks first for the number of boating accidents. Pinellas County ranked third in the top Ten Florida Counties for boating accidents.
Even experienced boaters can have boating accidents. In 2014, there were 4,064 recreational boating accidents, 610 boating fatalities, and 2,678 boating injuries. Some of the top contributing factors to boating accidents and casualties are:
- Alcohol use
- Excessive speed
- Operator inattention
- Overloading the boat
- Machinery failure
- Operator inexperience
Here are some safety tips to help make boating activities fun and safe experiences:
- Complete a boating education course to gain operator experience
- Always check local weather conditions before taking a boat out
- Avoid alcohol â€“ alcohol doubles the probability of getting into a boating accident
- Get your boat checked for safety and maintenance issues
- Use lifejackets â€“ most drowning victims are boaters who were not wearing lifejackets
- Make sure to use a safe speed at all times
The summer months are a time for fun excursions and keeping these safety tips in mind may help make the summer a safe and enjoyable time.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a boating accident caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For more information, contact Burnetti, P.A.’s boating accident attorneys at 1-888-BURNETTI for a free case consultation. You can also click here to fill out a free case evaluation form.