How to Avoid the Leading Causes of Boating Accidents

boating accidentsThe middle of July is when everyone seems to hit the lake to cool off, which means lots of boat traffic – and sadly, more accidents. We’ve compiled the statistics you need to know about boating accidents and steps you can take to prevent them.

Boating Accident Statistics

According to reports by the U.S. Coast Guard, 2017 saw a 3.8% decrease in boating accidents from the previous year. There were a total of 4,291 accidents, resulting in 658 deaths, 2,629 injuries, and nearly $46 million in property damage. Here are some major boat accident statistics from last year:

  • Most accidents occurred in lakes, ponds, and reservoirs
  • 74% occurred during broad daylight
  • July was the most dangerous month with over 1,000 accidents
  • Accidents involving open motorboats accounted for the highest number of deaths
  • It was reported that operators had no boating education in 80% of fatal accidents

Top Causes of Boating Accidents

Alcohol Consumption

boating accidentsThe U.S. Coast Guard reports that alcohol use was the leading factor in fatal boating accidents, accounting for over 15% of total deaths last year. Drinking inhibits your ability to use good judgment in operating a boat, and the consequences can be deadly.


Operator inattention was the overall leading cause of boating accidents in 2017. A boating accident may occur if the boat operator does not remain on the lookout for potential hazards. It is the operator’s responsibility to remain alert and pay attention to their surroundings.


Boater inexperience contributed to 10% of boat accidents last year. It is critical for the boat operator to know how to handle an emergency situation. New boaters should be under the supervision of an experienced individual.

Improper Lookout

Not designating a lookout to warn others of threats is a common mistake that resulted in nearly 13% of boating injuries.

Machinery Failure

Machinery and boat equipment failure collectively caused over 9% of boating accidents. It is the boat owner’s responsibility to make sure the boat and its equipment are in proper working condition. Make all necessary checks before operating the boat.

Excessive Speed

Just like with driving a car, it is important to operate a boat at a reasonable speed increase response time and avoid collisions.

Contact Jones Brown Law

boating accident lawyerHave you or a loved one been injured in a boating accident? If so, the law offices of Jones Brown Law are here to help. Similar to a car wreck, the aftermath of a boating accident can leave you overwhelmed, vulnerable, and prone to making legal mistakes. A Jones Brown Law boating accident lawyer can assist you with the required paperwork and get you the compensation you deserve. To contact Jones Brown Law today, click HERE.





Share Page