Florida Boating Accident Statistics

Recreational boating is meant to be a safe, fun way to enjoy the outdoors. The goal of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program (National RBS Program) is to create programs that promote the safety of boaters, minimizing the loss of life, personal injuries and property damage. Through these programs, boaters are given the opportunity to learn more about being safe on the water, the rules you need to follow when you are navigating a boat and the safety precautions to take that will help keep everyone on the boat safe. The National RBS Program collects data to help determine if these strategies are effective tools to prevent boating accidents in the state of Florida and across the United States.

The National RBS Program studies a number of factors that involve boating accidents. It tracks the number of educated voters and aims to grow this number every year. It works to provide solid information about boat safety to targeted audiences, and it studies safety precautions taken by boaters that includes wearing life jackets and not operating a boat under the influence of alcohol. With the program’s efforts, the overall safety of boaters on the water today has increased, and education for new boat drivers has improved.

National Boating Accidents Statistics

U.S. statistics on boating accidents include the following:

  • In 2014, 610 people were killed in boating accidents.
  • In 2014, 2,078 people were injured in boating accidents.
  • In 2014, 4,064 boating accidents were reported.
  • In 1997, there were 8,047 boating accidents reported, with 821 of them resulting in fatalities.
  • In 2014, 78% of fatal boating accident victims died from drowning.
  • Eighty-four percent of the drowning victims were not wearing life jackets.
  • The top four reasons that boaters got into accidents in 2014 included operator inexperience, not paying attention, going too fast and drinking alcohol while driving a boat.
  • Eight out of every 10 boaters who were killed were on a boat that was smaller than 21 feet long.
  • The biggest contributing factor for all fatal boating accidents is excessive alcohol use.
  • There were 12 children under the age of 13 who were killed in boating accidents in 2014.
  • Open motor boats have the highest rate of accidental deaths, with canoes and kayaks falling way behind.
  • Twenty-three percent of boating deaths were caused by drivers who had boat safety training.

Boating Statistics In Florida

State boating statistics include the following:

  • Most residents of the state of Florida are not required to take boat safety courses.
  • Boaters 21 years old or younger and those found guilty of criminal boating violations must take a boating safety course.
  • Boaters ages 14 and older can be certified to drive a motorized boat. An adult does not need to be on the boat to supervise a minor who is driving.
  • In 2014, Florida reported 70 fatalities.
  • In 2014, there were 873,507 boats registered in the State of Florida.
  • The most fatalities happened in the month of July, with a total number of fatalities that month at 14.
  • There was only one boating fatality in Florida in the months of January and February.
  • Boaters were killed most often between the hours of 10 a.m. and 11:59 a.m.
  • In 2014, 22 people were killed in Florida because they fell overboard.
  • Twelve people were killed in Florida boating accidents because their boats capsized in 2014.
  • Nine people died after collisions with fixed objects while driving boats in Florida.
  • Eight people died in 2014 as a result of accidents with other boats.
  • The number of people who died because their boats became flooded was six in 2014.