Here’s a bit of trivia to keep and store for future use to amaze your friends: What state has the most number of boats (the Coast Guard calls them vessels) registered? Florida! That’s pretty easy, but what state ranks second? Minnesota. That’s unexpected.
What state has the most miles of coastline? Alaska. Second place is Florida.
Knowing what you know now, what state ranks number one for boating accidents, injuries, and deaths? Unfortunately, it’s Florida.
Several things contribute to make the waters in and around Florida particularly dangerous, and congestion is one. The population of Florida has gone up every year since someone started counting.
In 1960 the population of Florida was 5 million people.
- 1970 6.8 million
- 1980 9 million
- 1990 13 million
- 2000 16 million
- 2010 18.8
- 2019 21.3 million
Waterways, harbors, lakes, canals, and rivers are all choked with boats especially in the summer which is coming soon.
Just like we preach about safety on the road, we also preach about safe boating because a portion of our law practice is dedicated to helping victims of accidents on the water. The laws for boating accidents are similar but different. Waterways are harder to maintain “traffic control” and there may not be red lights but there are laws. If you own a boat you should know them and obey. Going out on a boat is fun but that doesn’t mean you throw common sense out the window and become reckless.
Another thing to consider and understand when you’re out on a boat is that if someone does something irresponsible and there is a collision and injuries, it takes a lot longer for medical emergency responders to reach victims. It also takes longer to be transported to the hospital for treatment of serious injuries. If you’re three miles out in the Gulf Stream you may be an hour or more from getting to a trauma center. The Coast Guard statistics for Florida boating accidents document the fact that injuries and deaths increase through the Spring months and peak in July.
The smart thing is to avoid accidents. The number one reason for serious accidents is excessive speed. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol is also a major contributing factor according to the Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Almost half of all boating accidents involve impaired boaters.
South Florida Boating Accident Attorneys
The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been helping victims of boating accidents in south Florida for 25 years. We understand the laws, insurance, and special circumstances that are unique to boating accidents and we work hard to get results for our clients who have been hurt. Please call us at (954) 356-0006 if you would like to speak with us about your situation. Our consultations are always free and confidential.