In 2017, Florida was again the state with the highest number of both total boating accidents and boating fatalities in the country according to statistics compiled by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC). Florida has hundreds of lakes in addition to its thousands of miles of coastline along both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. This, combined with the state’s beautiful weather year round, makes Florida a true boater’s paradise. For all these reasons, Florida has the highest number of registered recreational boats of any state on the country. However, with so many boats on the water, accidents are bound to happen. This was simply confirmed by the FFWCC’s 2017 statistics. Therefore, if you are in Florida and are regularly out on your boat, make sure to take appropriate safety measures every time you are on the water to avoid becoming another statistic.
The FFWCC’s Findings Regarding Boating Accidents in Florida
The FFWCC’s recent report showed there was a nearly 14 percent rise in Florida boating accidents in 2017 as compared with 2016. There were 766 boating accidents in Florida in 2017, up from 714 in 2016. July had the most accidents with 113, with May and April the next two highest months with 99 and 92 accidents, respectively. Of all Florida counties, Monroe County had the most accidents, with Miami-Dade and Broward Counties coming in second and third place with 75 and 63 accidents, respectively. Of the causes found by the FFWCC in connection with these accidents, the two most cited as playing the leading role were operator inexperience or not having proper lookout/operator inattention. Although the number of total boating accidents that occurred in 2017 rose when compared with the prior year, a total of 67 people died in boating accidents in Florida in 2017, which was the same number as in in 2016. The 766 boating accidents also resulted in a total of over $8.5 million in total property damage.
Florida Law Regarding Boating Accidents and Boating Fatalities
These statistics tell a grim tale that venturing out onto the water for what should be a good time can be ruined by someone else’s bad decisions. As in most states, Florida law concerning the operation of boats is similar to its laws regarding the operation of motor vehicles. A boat operator must use appropriate measures to keep his or her passengers as well as nearby boaters safe. If a boat’s operator is negligent in operating his vessel, such as piloting it at excessive speeds, drinking and then operating a boat or paying inadequate attention, the boat operator can be sued by either his own passengers or other boaters if the negligence results in an accident that injures or kills someone.
Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath if You or a Loved One Have Been Injured in a Boating Accident
As the 2017 boating statistics recently released by the FFWC reflect, boating accidents are unfortunately all too common in Florida. Boating accidents occur with greater frequency in Florida than anywhere else in the United States. The Florida boating accident lawyers at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath understand the seriousness of boating safety and have extensive experience handling injury claims for those who have been injured in a boating accident. If you have been injured in a boating accident in Florida, contact the experienced lawyers at our firm today at (561) 655-1990 for a free consultation regarding your situation today.