South Florida’s Boating Accident Problem

Aug. 31st, 2015   /   ,

South Florida’s Boating Accident Problem

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Our Delray Beach boating accident injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green spend a great deal of time discussing common personal injury issues such as auto accidents, product liability, premises liability and medical malpractice. That said, one of the most significant personal injury issues with respect to South Florida, where our practice is based, is the issue of boating accidents. This issue has been given particularly close attention recently in the wake of the disappearance of two teens in the ocean just off of Palm Beach County.

Unfortunately, reports show that Florida leads the nation in number of boating accidents and, sadly enough, the annual number of boating accident-caused fatalities in Florida is rising. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (the “FWC”), the number of boating accident-caused fatalities has been increasing over the last few years. Statistics provided by the FWC show that 2014 saw the highest number of boating accident fatalities (73) since 2010 (79), and the second-highest since 2007 (77).

As our Delray Beach boating accident injury lawyers know, these fatalities and associated accidents are not spread out throughout the state in an even manner. For instance, last year, there were 634 reportable accidents in Florida, but 64% of these accidents took place in just 10 counties, Miami-Dade County being #1 and Palm Beach County being #2. Broward County also registered in the top 10 at #6.

In Miami-Dade County, last year, the type of vessel most commonly involved in an accident was a cabin motorboat (53 were involved in accidents) followed by an open motorboat (47). Personal watercrafts, sailboats with aux power, houseboats, mini jet boats, canoe/kayaks and sailboats without aux power were also involved in accidents. In Miami-Dade, according to the FWC, boating accidents were most frequently caused by operator inexperience (followed by a lack of a proper lookout and then by operator inattention). Finally, the most common type of boating accident in Miami-Dade County was a collision with another vessel.

As our Delray Beach boating accident injury lawyers know, in Palm Beach County, last year, the type of vessel most frequently involved in an accident was an open motorboat (32) followed by a personal watercraft (18). Similar to the situation in Miami-Dade County, the three most common causes of boating accidents in Palm Beach County were operator inattention, operator inexperience, and lack of proper lookout. And as was the case in Miami-Dade, the most common type of boating accident in Palm Beach County in 2014 was a collision with another vessel.

These statistics, as we know, show us that these boating accidents have common causes. As such, we know there must be common solutions. Our state’s legislature should require that boaters in Florida meet stricter requirements, both in terms of age and boating education. Taking risks on the water isn’t worth it, as the consequences can be, as the statistics show, deadly.

If you have any questions about this boating accident issue or any other personal injury issue, or if you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence or recklessness of another individual or of a company, please contact our Delray Beach boating accident injury and personal injury lawyers at Aronberg, Aronberg & Green by calling 561-266-9191 or by e-mailing us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com. We look forward to assisting you!

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