Florida’s Most Dangerous Counties for Boating Accidents
According to a recent Miami Herald article, Monroe and Miami-Dade Counties are Florida’s most dangerous counties for boating accidents. In 2011, there were 93 major maritime incidents in Monroe County compared to only 77 in the same area in 2010. This 20% increase in accidents occurred despite a drop in the number of registered boats.
Also in 2011, there were six boating deaths and 66 injuries in Monroe County. In comparison, the entire state of Florida logged a total of 67 deaths and 742 “reportable” accidents that same year. To be considered a “reportable” accident, an incident “must involve death, disappearance . . . significant injury; or cause more than $2,000 in damages.”
Injuries and Deaths in Miami-Dade and Other Counties
The Florida County logging the second-highest number of 2011 dangerous boating statistics was Miami-Dade. A total of 75 boating accidents occurred there, causing approximately $16 million in damages. Boaters in the following counties also saw major injuries that same year: Palm Beach (58), Broward (41), Lee (41), Pinellas (36) and Collier (34).
Although only 20 major boating mishaps were reported in Hillsborough County in 2011, that area had the highest number of boating deaths: seven. Both Broward and Monroe Counties each reported six deaths that same year.
Additional Facts & Statistics Regarding Florida’s Dangerous Waters
- Fatal boating accidents usually involved one or more people falling overboard;
- Two-thirds of Florida’s boating accidents were caused by drowning;
- Each year, about one million nonregistered boats travel through Florida’s waters. (Vessels only have to be registered if they’re powered by engines and more than 16 feet long);
- About 1,018 vessels were involved in Florida’s 742 accidents in 2011;
- Ten of the 2011 boating deaths were directly tied to alcohol usage. Approximately 308 arrests were made across the state for boating under the influence – indicating a small drop in the number from the previous year;
- “Boats hit other boats or stationary objects in 313 [of the 742] cases;”
- Between 2005 and 2008, Florida saw a fairly marked decrease in the number of boating registrations. The number fell from over one million “in 2005 to 2008 to 922,491 in 2011;”
- August and November were the most deadly months for being out in the waters in 2011 (nine deaths were reported during each of those two months that year);
- The most deadly hours of the day to be out on the water: Between 2 pm and 6 pm;
- Men accounted for sixty-two (62) of the 67 boating deaths reported in 2011.
Authorities have stated that the majority of these boating accidents are caused by operator inattention and inexperience, mechanical failures, poor weather conditions and speeding.
If you have been injured in any type of South Florida boating accident, you need to seek out the help of a qualified personal injury attorney.
If you’ve suffered a serious boating accident or injury, contact the Maus Law Firm to learn more about your rights. The Maus Law Firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach and the Florida Keys, and handles accident and injury claims throughout Miami-Dade, Monroe, Collier, Lee, Broward and Palm Beach counties. You’ll need the help of an experienced South Florida accident and injury attorney on your side. Call Toll Free today at: (855) 999-LAWS, or locally at (954) 784-6310.