Warmer weather means more boats, and that unfortunately means more accidents on the water. Florida was the number one state for both boating accidents and boating deaths in 2010.
To avoid boating accidents, it helps to know the major contributing causes. Here are the top four causes of boating accidents in Florida, as reported by Florida law enforcement.
1. Operator inattention (149 accidents)
It’s easy to get distracted boating in Florida. The scenery is beautiful, the weather is perfect and parties are everywhere. Still, the operator and everyone else on the boat need to have 360 degrees of awareness at all times. The party can end quickly otherwise.
2. No proper lookout (106 accidents)
Most boating parties assume that one person in charge is enough to stay safe. Not so. The operator should always designate a lookout to keep an eye on approaching boats, buoys, restricted areas and other dangers.
3. Machinery failure (56 accidents)
Proper upkeep can prevent the third major cause of Florida boating accidents. The most common form of machinery failure is engine failure. Check your boat’s machinery after every 100-200 hours of use, or at the start of the season.
4. Excessive speed (55 accidents)
While Florida has no official “speed limit” for boats, the law stipulates that any boat’s wake must “not be excessive nor create a hazard to other vehicles.” Drivers must also obey “Idle Speed – No Wake” and “Slow Down – Minimum Wake” signs.
Other major causes include alcohol, rules of the road infractions and sharp turns. Take extra precautions when boating this summer to assure a fun, safe time.
The Gerber Law Group, P.A. – Sarasota accident lawyer