Avoid Watercraft Accidents by Practicing Boating Safety
Residents and visitors to our beautiful city are fortunate to be able to enjoy more than 165 miles of navigable channels and plenty of access to the open ocean. Add to that our outstanding year-round weather and you have the perfect setting for boaters of all types to enjoy the open water. After all, Fort Lauderdale is truly the Yachting Capital of the World!
Perhaps because of our abundance of both warm weather and easily accessible waterways, Florida is #1 in the U.S. in boating accidents. Of 671 accidents in 2015, there were 390 injuries with 52 fatalities - an average of one every week. (All statistics are from the U.S. Coast Guard report 2015 Recreational Boating Statistics)
The top 5 contributing factors for all boating accidents are:
- Operator inattention
- Operator inexperience
- Improper lookout
- Machinery failure
- Excessive speed
In fatal boat accidents, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor.
Do you notice anything about these top-contributing factors? They are almost all preventable, including alcohol use!
Here are more facts that demonstrate how many boating accidents are preventable:
- Of boating accidents where information on life jacket usage was available, 85% of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
- Of boating accidents where instruction information was available, 71% of deaths were on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instructions.
If you or a family member has been injured in a watercraft accident, the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Diana Santa Maria, P.A. can represent you in a personal injury or wrongful death claim.Think Safety Each Time You Venture on the Water
Remember these basic safety tips:
- Always wear life preservers - learn more about safety requirements for life vests for adults and children (U.S. Coast Guard)
- Don't drink! It's just as dangerous to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol as drinking and driving a car, plus it's illegal in all states. For safety purposes, passengers should also refrain from drinking alcohol.
- Take a boating education course. Learn the requirements for the Florida Boater Safety Education Card from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC).
- Take advantage of a free vessel safety check offered by both the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadron.
- Boating Safety and Education Information (FFWCC)
- Florida Safety Equipment Requirements (FFWCC)
- Boating Safety for Kids from SafeKids.org
Our experienced attorneys have the right expertise to fight for the compensation you deserve if you have been injured in a watercraft accident or a premises liability accident. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorneys Diana Santa Maria and Laura D. Dolin, personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at (954) 434-1077 or contact us via the website.