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More Boats and Boating Accidents in Florida

The unique geography of Florida, with our long Atlantic coastline and amazing rivers and lakes, makes it an ideal place to have a boat. There are more boats registered in Florida than in any other state, and unfortunately, more accidents that cause injury or death every year.

While people who get behind the wheel of a car are required to pass a driving test and be familiar with traffic laws, only boat owners who were born after 1988 are required to take a boating safety class. There are too many inexperienced, reckless or intoxicated people operating boats — and this puts other boaters and boat occupants at risk for harm.

The most recent 2018 data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) shows the following:

  • 950,740 registered boats
  • 628 boating accidents
  • 59 fatalities
  • 307 injuries
  • 19% of boating fatalities involved alcohol or drug use 

Boating under the influence (BUI), measured by a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, is illegal, but many boat owners equate a day out on the water with the opportunity to “relax” with a few drinks. Or they may be too distracted by fishing or socializing with friends to pay attention to other boats. Others use excessive speed or fail to observe waterway safety protocols.

If you are injured while you were a passenger on a boat or in a collision with another boat, you may have grounds to bring a personal injury suit against the negligent boat or yacht owner. Speak with a knowledgeable boat accident lawyer about your options for getting compensation for your injury-related expenses.