According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there are some concerning statistics regarding a rise in boating accidents in Florida’s waterways.
The Commission’s 2020 Boating Accident Statistical Report states that as many as 836 boating accidents were reported in 2020, which represented a 26% increase from 2019. Injuries were also on the rise in 2020, with 534 reported that year versus 453 the previous year. As many as 79 boating accident fatalities were recorded in 2020, which was the state’s highest number since 2011. Compared to 65 boating accident fatalities in 2019, the number of incidents increased by 16% in 2020.
Why Boating Accidents May Be on the Rise
The sudden lurch in boating accident deaths and injuries appears to correlate with an increase of more than 50,000 registered vessels since 2016. When it comes to the greatest number of registered vessels in the U.S., Florida tipped the scales in 2020 at 985,005 such vessels. With more boaters on the water, the likelihood of a collision or accident increases.
By far, the two most common types of boating accidents that occurred were collisions with other vessels (224 incidents) and collisions with fixed objects (163 incidents). These primary accidents led to secondary accidents, which most commonly involved falling overboard (132 incidents) and a person getting struck by a boat (62 incidents).
A lack of education about how to operate a vessel or safely traverse waterways may also have had an impact. In the majority of reported boating accidents (53%), boat operators had no boater education.
More Info on Injuries & Fatalities
In 37 of the 79 (47%) boating accident fatalities, the primary cause of death was reported as drowning. That doesn’t seem so surprising when we consider the fact that approximately 65% of operators and occupants were not wearing personal floatation devices (PFDs) and as much as 36% of people involved in boating accidents reported during 2020 couldn’t swim.
The second most common cause of death from a boating accident was identified as trauma, which accounted for 31 incidents and 39% of the total number of incidents. The most common injuries that did not result in death included lacerations (150 incidents), broken bones (90 incidents), contusions (83 incidents), and head injuries (61 incidents).
Were You or a Loved One Injured in a Boating Accident?
As you just read, boating accidents are on the rise, and a number of serious injuries – sometimes resulting in death – are occurring as a result. If you or a loved one were injured in a boating accident, be sure to get in touch with an attorney who can help you recover compensation for your medical bills and other injury-related expenses.
Our attorney at Jonathan Blecher, P.A. can help you recover the financial compensation you need from the parties responsible for your injuries and their insurance companies. It’s never easy to fight for a personal injury claim, but it also may be the most important thing you can do right now.
For more information about how Jonathan Blecher, P.A. can help, reach out to us online and request a consultation with our attorney.