Which of these is The Most Common Cause of Fatal Boating Accidents in Florida?

what should you do to avoid colliding with another boat

Which of these is The Most Common Cause of Fatal Boating Accidents in Florida?

One of the most significant and regular causes of boating accidents in Florida and across the nation is drunk or intoxicated boating. A boat operator’s ability to react swiftly to changed conditions or make crucial water decisions can be hampered by even one drink. Falling Overboard and Drowning are other leading causes of boating fatalities.

There are too many causes of boating accidents, but some of the most common lead to fatalities. Read on to learn how to prevent these tragedies. Listed below are the most common causes of fatal boating accidents in Florida. 

What should you do to Avoid Colliding with Another Boat

When you’re navigating in a channel or heading through a busy harbour, you need to be aware of other boats. To avoid colliding with another boat, follow these five steps:

1 – Check your mirrors to see if there are any other vessels coming up behind you
2 – Keep your distance from the boat ahead and ensure it stays in the same lane as you are in. Don’t speed up just because it is slowing down as this could cause an accident. If necessary, change lanes early rather than late so that you can maintain a safe distance. This will also keep congestion at bay while allowing traffic flow to resume.

Florida boating accidents

Boating accidents in Florida can cause severe, life-altering injuries. It is important to seek guidance from a boat accident lawyer as soon as possible, whether you were hurt in a boating mishap involving a drunk boater or an accident caused by poor maintenance on your vessel. 

what should you do to avoid colliding with another boat

Even if boating in Florida is considered relatively safe, there are still plenty of accidents that can result in injuries and fatalities. Fortunately, Florida offers a wealth of safety training opportunities for boat operators. The US Coast Guard Auxiliary is an excellent resource for boaters, but accidents can still occur. As a result, knowing about the leading causes of accidents is critical for preventing them and protecting yourself.

The following are some of the most frequent reasons for boating accidents in Florida that can result in severe physical injuries and for which you might be qualified to claim financial compensation.

Falling overboard

According to the US Coast Guard, falling overboard is Florida’s leading cause of fatal boating accidents. A fall-overboard accident can result in a victim falling overboard, disoriented, or knocked unconscious. Falling overboard limits a person’s swimming skills in dangerous water. Despite the many benefits of life jackets, many people still fail to use them.

Despite the safety features of personal flotation devices, boaters should still be cautious when using them. Even the best swimmers can fall overboard due to factors beyond their control. Alcohol consumption, rough water, or reckless boat driving contribute to falling overboard. If you fall overboard, you risk being hit by other boats, pulled underwater, or entangled in weeds.

Lack of boater education

The number of fatal boating accidents in Florida is consistently high. The number of boating fatalities in Florida has increased by 7% since 2016. In 2017, 66 percent of fatal boating accidents involved the failure to wear a life jacket.

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Boating fatalities also increased by nearly 7%, with almost one-quarter of all accidents caused by alcohol and drugs. Florida’s FWC tracks the number of citations issued each year. In 2016, 374 operators were cited for boating under the influence, 431 for negligent vessel operation, and 351 for violating PWC regulations.

Despite these statistics, Florida still leads the nation in registered boats. Unfortunately, the number of unregistered boats on the state’s waters continues to grow. In 2019, more than 300 collisions involving other water-bound vessels occurred, and six9% of fatal boat operators didn’t receive formal boater education. While there are numerous other reasons for boating accidents in Florida, a lack of boater education is the leading cause of fatal boating accidents in the state.

Even though Florida ranks high in the number of registered boats, boating accidents are often caused by the lack of proper boater education. Florida law requires boaters born after Jan. 1, 1988, to take boater education courses. Last year, the Florida agency issued more than seventy thousand boating education safety ID cards. Many of these were given to people under 35. Ultimately, Florida boating accident attorneys will investigate the specifics of the accident and determine whether the boat operator should be held responsible for the damages they cause.

According to FWC data, broken bones are the state’s third most common cause of fatal boating accidents. Because boating passengers are not strapped into their seats, they are thrown around during an impact. The resulting effect causes broken bones. Broken bones require surgery and can be painful. While some injuries can be avoided, the most common is a broken bone.


Even though Florida boating laws may be more stringent than the laws of other states, there are still several reasons for boating accidents. The most common are operator inexperience, speeding, and alcohol use. Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission compiles statistics on boating accidents, including the causes of crashes and injuries. The goal is to keep Florida’s waterways safe.

The state of Florida has many beautiful waterways that are perfect for recreational boating and fishing. However, accidents still occur due to various factors. A novice boat operator may not understand navigation rules or react appropriately to changes in the boat and sea. This could lead to a severe accident. A boat operator who is not experienced in these types of accidents should seek the assistance of an attorney as soon as possible.

Boat operators should also remember that speeding on the water is a significant cause of accidents and even fatalities. Speeding on the water can reduce reaction time and hinder awareness of hazards.

The increased speed can result in a severe crash with another boat or object. It can be devastating for everyone involved. Therefore, speeding on the water should be avoided at all costs. You might get a citation from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, but the consequences of an accident can be life-changing.

In addition to speeding, alcohol use and inexperienced operators are other leading causes of accidents on the water. In 2018, boating accidents led to 4,145 boating accidents, 2-511 injuries, and 633 deaths. If you or a family member has been injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages and injuries. It is essential to report any accidents to receive adequate compensation.

Departed vessel

A voluntary boat exit occurs when the passengers get off by themselves or dive or jump overboard. This can be especially dangerous if passengers are intoxicated or otherwise inebriated. Boat flooding is also a significant cause of fatal boating accidents. The boat may overfill, but the passengers are still in danger of drowning. This can occur due to a collision or intense weather conditions.

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Other common causes of boating accidents in Florida include poor weather, boat malfunctions, and carelessness. A 2017 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report reported that alcohol or drug use was a factor in nearly one-quarter of all fatal boating accidents. Boating safety courses can be found through the Fish and Wildlife Commission website or in classrooms through the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. A Florida power squadron may also offer a boating safety course.

Another leading cause of boating accidents in the state of Florida is drunk boating. Alcohol impairs the boat operator’s ability to respond to changing conditions and make critical judgments while on the water. Drinking responsibly and designating a boat operator can reduce the likelihood of an accident. Moreover, 74 percent of fatal boat operators had never completed a certified boating education course.

A Florida boating accident may result in several types of injuries. Among these injuries is laceration. A laceration is caused by a sharp object like a glass or a boat propeller. These injuries may heal independently, but if untreated, they can cause permanent scarring and require skin graft surgery. Broken bones can cause chronic pain and limited range of motion. Broken bones can also require surgery to set the bones.


While Florida is a beautiful place to enjoy a day on the water, numerous factors can lead to a fatal boating accident. Florida has many beautiful waterways to enjoy water sports like jet skiing and tubing. While these water activities are enjoyable and can help you stay active, there are risks associated with these activities, including falling overboard or becoming dehydrated. Listed below are some tips to stay safe while boating.

According to Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, more than 700,000 registered boats in Florida last year, resulting in 736 fatal boating accidents. Among those accidents, falling overboard accounted for 40% of fatalities. Among the 420 injured, 82 were males. Regardless of the cause, Florida boating accidents could be prevented. You should avoid boating when it’s flooded.

The most common source of fatal boating accidents in the state is flooding. Despite the flooding, Florida is one of only a few states that allow boating on lakes. The Florida Boating Safety Council advises boaters to check their state laws and follow their captain’s instructions. While boating in the rain or sleet, keep your eyes open for signs of flooding.

Whether you’re planning a family vacation or a day off with friends, a boating accident can ruin your vacation or day off. Despite Florida’s beautiful waterways, several devastating boating accidents occur every year. Unfortunately, Florida waters are not strictly regulated, and boats, jet skis, and personal watercraft travel at varying speeds. If you’re not careful, a defective motorized water vehicle or a lack of safety training can cause an accident.

Intoxicated Boating

Boating drunk or intoxicated is among the most dangerous and frequent causes of boat accidents in Florida and across the nation. A single drink can affect the boat’s ability to react quickly to changed circumstances or to make critical judgment calls while in the water. If you plan to operate a vessel and drink alcohol, it is recommended to avoid drinking alcohol before or during your time on the boat.

Alcohol consumption while operating a boat is not allowed. If the blood alcohol content of the operator is higher than.08 percent will be considered intoxicated. Alcohol and boating do not go well together. Boat owners and operators must also closely monitor weather conditions and changes. Strong winds and dangerous water conditions can lead to significant injury incidents and fatality. The consequences of drinking while operating a boat can be substantial and lasting.

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Inclement Weather

Inclement weather can result in fatal boating accidents. Boaters must know how crucial it is to read through forecasts before heading to the ocean and be aware of changing weather conditions.

If you’re unsure of the weather, or you suspect the possibility of a storm is imminent, you need to return to the shore. You can also download weather apps to your phone to track live radar, making you more aware of dangerous conditions that can change quickly.

Distracted Boating

Like distracted driving, a significant issue on Florida’s roads, distraction while boating could also pose very dangers. If a boater is distracted, they might not keep an eye-level view and may hit another boat.

Negligent Maintenance

Sometimes, boats are involved in crashes on Florida waters due to careless maintenance. If your vessel suffered a collision due to the lack of service for your boat, it’s crucial to find out about filing a claim against the negligent repairman.

Defective Boat Components

Some boat accidents result from manufacturing or design defects or defective parts for boats. Similar to automobile parts susceptible to recalls, it’s vital to have damaged components replaced or repaired. If a defective component causes a collision, you could be able to bring a lawsuit for product liability against the creator or manufacturer of the faulty part.

How to prevent Boating Accidents in Florida?

Going out on the water is ideal when the weather warms up. Even though boating is one of the best outdoor activities for the summer, it’s crucial to practice safety measures to help avoid mishaps and injuries. Here are some suggestions for keeping your loved ones safe while out on the lake.

  • Ensure everyone in the vehicle wears a well-fitted life jacket, especially kids

Make sure your passengers wear life jackets anytime the boat is in operation because there is rarely time to retrieve them in the event of an accident. Several thin and flexible life jackets can be found today. Adult life jackets can sometimes be worn as a scarf or fanny pack until they contact the water, at which point they automatically fill with air.

  • Have the appropriate safety gear on board

Make sure you have a first aid kit, an anchor, a fire extinguisher, flares, navigation signals, a sound-producing gadget (such as a whistle, horn, or siren), a life jacket for each person on board, and at the very least, a first aid kit. 

  • Follow a safe speed limit

Speeding on the water can result in fines and other consequences, just like on land. Additionally, there are no “lanes” on the lake, and different kinds of watercraft zigzag all over the place, making it harder to avoid crashes. While boating, be cautious to adhere to the posted speed limits and proceed through curves and turns with extreme caution.

  • Keep a close eye on the water and weather conditions

Before getting on the water, always check the weather. What begins as a lovely sunny day can suddenly transform into a gloomy afternoon thunderstorm, especially in the summer. Get to shore as soon as you can if it appears that a storm is forming (increasing wind and choppy waters are crucial indicators).

  • Don’t load your boat too full

It’s crucial to adhere to the capacity limitations of your boat. If your boat carries too much weight, such as passengers or equipment, it may become unstable and capsize.