There’s no question that Florida offers some of the best boating locations in the entire country. In 2021, the total number of registered vessels in the state surpassed one million (with it continuing to rise throughout 2022). This puts it 200,000 vessels ahead of Minnesota, the state with the second most boating registrations in the country.
Unfortunately, with so many more vessels and people on the water, the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities is increasing, too. Now is the time for boaters throughout Florida to learn more about boating safety and how to keep themselves and others safe on the water.
The proof is in the numbers
In 2021, there were 751 accidents among Florida boaters. These accidents caused 469 injuries and 60 fatalities. Property damage was estimated to be around $20 million. While the numbers are down from 2020, hundreds of boaters and passengers are still having their fun day in the sun end in catastrophe.
Top causes of Florida boating accidents
The leading cause of Florida boating accidents is collisions with other vessels and number two on the list is collisions with a fixed object. However, other issues can also contribute to boating accidents, injuries and fatalities in Florida.
Some other causes include:
- Operator inattention
- Failure to maintain a proper lookout
- Operator intoxication
- Falling overboard
- Lack of lifejackets or improper use of lifejackets
Boating accidents can happen in an instant, which is why boating safety is so important.
Protecting your rights after a Florida boating accident
You have rights if you are involved in a boating accident in Florida. You may be entitled to recover compensation from the at-fault party in the accident. This is true even if the at-fault party is the operator of the boat you are in. It’s best to learn what your legal rights are so you can take steps to protect them and recover the compensation you are due.