It’s spring break and we’re sure many of you will be hitting the water. It’s that perfect time to uncover the boat and spend the day along the coastline for sun, fun and some time away from school and work.
Unfortunately, Florida continues to be the most dangerous state for boating accidents. Year after year, we see far more boating accidents than any other state in the country. According to the most recent statistics from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there were close to 700 boating accidents reported in the state of Florida last year. Coming in at second was the state of California with about 400 accidents.
Our Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys understand that Florida has more registered vessels than any other state. In 2010, there were more than 914,000 registered watercraft in Florida. It’s no wonder we see so many accidents. It’s important that all boaters are properly trained before heading out. Knowledge is your best bet against these types of accidents.
Boating Accidents in Florida:
-Palm Beach: 58
Monroe County ranked in as the most dangerous, seeing more than 90 boating accidents in 2011.
If you’re heading out on the boat between 4:00 p.m. and 5:59 p.m., you might want to be extra careful. We saw more accidents during this time in 2011 than during any other time of the day.
So what are the most common causes of boating accidents?
-Collision with other vessels.
-Collisions with other objects.
-Passengers falling overboard.
Officials with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office offer you some safe boating tips. Make sure you review these tips and share them with your crew before heading out on your next boating adventure.
-Make sure you complete a boaters’ education course.
-Get your boat inspected frequently. You can get it checked for free by U.S. Power Squadron volunteer organizations and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
-Make sure that your boat has a working radio. Have it on at all times.
-Pack more gear than you think you need. Consider tagging along flares, batteries, a first-aid kid, drinking water and some sunscreen.
-Know how much your boat can hold. Never pack it over capacity.
-Make sure that all children under the age of 6 are wearing a Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times.
Unfortunately, alcohol also plays a major role in the cause of boating accidents. A hot day on the water combined with the consumption of alcohol can be a deadly combination. The practice proves even deadlier when the boat operator is unaware that the same impaired driving laws apply to boats on the water as well as cars on the road.
Be safe out there and enjoy your spring break responsibly, whether you’re on dry land our out there in the big blue.
Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC have been successfully and aggressively representing victims and their families for years. Call 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your claim today.
More Blog Entries:
Scuba Tragedy Highlights Liability, Risks in Broward, Palm Beach Counties, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 28, 2012
Boating Accidents in Palm Beach Target of New Watercraft Ban, State Not Happy!, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, May 5, 2012