Boating is a popular activity enjoyed by a considerable number of people across the United States. Whether it’s fishing, water sports, or cruising around the water, boating is a fun and relaxing way to spend time outdoors. However, it’s important to remember that boating can also be dangerous, and accidents can happen unexpectedly. There are a number of alarming facts that you need to appreciate when it comes to boating accidents in the United States.
Number of U.S. Boating Accidents Each Year in the United States
In 2020, there were 767 boating fatalities in the United States. This alarming statistic is a sobering reminder that accidents can have serious consequences, and it’s important to take all necessary precautions to prevent them. Some of the most common causes of boating fatalities include:
Alcohol Use and Boat Accidents
Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. According to the US Coast Guard, alcohol use was the primary factor in 23 percent of all fatal boating accidents in 2020. Drinking and boating don’t mix, and it’s important to avoid alcohol while operating a boat or being a passenger. Alcohol can impair your judgment, vision, balance, and coordination, making it difficult to react to unexpected situations on the water.
Drowning and Boating Accident Fatalities
In 2020, drowning was the cause of death in 76 percent of all boating fatalities. This is a reminder of the importance of wearing a life jacket while on the water. Even if you’re a strong swimmer, unexpected accidents can happen, and a life jacket can save your life. In fact, the US Coast Guard estimates that wearing a life jacket could have saved the lives of approximately 84 percent of boating fatalities in 2020.
Water Vessels Most Often Involved in Boating Accidents
In 2020, the top types of vessels involved in boating accidents were:
These types of boats are popular, but they also have a higher risk of accidents. It’s important to be extra cautious while operating these boats and to follow all safety guidelines.
Some of the most common causes of boating accidents on these vessels include:
Equipment or machinery failure
Operator Inattention and Boating Accidents
Operator inattention was the top contributing factor in boating accidents in 2020. Whether it’s distracted driving or not paying attention to other boats and obstacles, it’s important to stay focused while operating a boat. Avoid using your phone, eating, drinking, or engaging in any other activities that can distract you from the task at hand. Always keep a lookout for other boats, swimmers, and obstacles, and be prepared to react quickly to unexpected situations.
Lack of Life Jackets and Boating Accident Fatalities
In 2020, 79 percent of fatal boating accident victims were not wearing life jackets. This statistic highlights the importance of wearing a life jacket while on the water. Even if you’re an experienced swimmer, accidents can happen, and a life jacket can help keep you afloat and increase your chances of survival. Make sure you choose a life jacket that fits properly, is appropriate for your activity level, and is approved by the US Coast Guard.
Top Five States for Boating Accidents
In 2020, the top five states for boating accidents were:
These states are popular boating destinations, but they also have a higher risk of accidents. It’s important to be extra cautious while boating in these states and to follow all safety guidelines. Some of the most common types of boating accidents in these states include collisions with other boats or objects, falls overboard, and capsizing.
Costs Associated with Boating Accidents
In 2020, the total cost of reported boating accidents is significant. This cost includes damage to boats and other property, medical expenses, and other related costs. By following boating safety guidelines and taking necessary precautions, you can help prevent accidents and avoid these costly expenses. Some of the most effective ways to prevent boating accidents include wearing a life jacket, avoiding alcohol while operating a boat, staying alert and focused, and following all safety guidelines and regulations.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, The Doan Law Firm is here to protect your vital legal rights. You can reach an experienced boating accident lawyer at our firm by calling (800) 349-0000. There is no cost for an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm boating accident lawyer. Our firm never charges an attorney fee unless we win your case for you.