Top Reasons for Florida Boating Accidents


Summer is almost here, with it will come a flood of boats in Florida waters. Unfortunately, all those additional boaters tend to lead to an increase in boating accidents.


In this post, we’re going to detail the top reasons these accidents occur and offer tips for how you can protect yourself.


Here are the most common reasons accidents occur:


Distracted Operator


Just like the driver of a automobile, a boat operator must stay alert. The operator must constantly keep track of weather conditions, other objects on the water, and any potential hazards. Since distracted operation is the top cause of boating accidents and deaths, it’s essential that your boat operator is vigilant.


Inexperienced Operator


Boat operation requires practiced skills. A seasoned operator knows the basic rules as well as how to handle unexpected changes. An inexperienced operator could make mistakes that jeopardize the safety of everyone on board.


No Lookout


If the person designated as a lookout for potential threats doesn’t do his or her job properly, everyone on the boat can be at risk for injury.


Operating a Boat Under the Influence


If you operate a boat while your judgment is impaired by alcohol or drugs, you can cause accidents resulting in serious injury or death. The boat operator needs to be a designated driver for maximum safety.




A person who operates a boat at unsafe speeds will be less able to react properly to sudden changes, which can lead to crashes with other boats or objects – something that puts all passengers at high risk for injury.


Equipment Issues


Boats must be properly maintained for safe use. If the boat owner fails to ensure that the boat is in good working order before sailing, he or she may be liable for any injuries that result. Another example is if the boat’s manufacturer failed to install proper equipment. In that case, you could file a defective product lawsuit.


Navigational Violations


As with driving, boat operators must follow the rules. If you don’t follow the navigational rules, collisions or other serious accidents may occur.


Weather Conditions


When you are out on the water, weather conditions can change in an instant, and you can’t always foresee them. However, if a boat operator decides to go out on the water despite known weather risks or storm alerts, he or she could be held responsible for any injuries that may result.

Force of Water


A sizeable wave or wake can cause a boat to become flooded, to capsize, or cause injuries or death. You may be able to file a claim for injury compensation if the boat operator took the boat on the water when conditions were favorable for large water surges.


How to Prevent Boating Accidents


Here are the best ways to protect yourself from a boating injury:


  • Don’t go out on a risky weather day.
  • The boat load must be balanced.
  • Everyone must wear life jackets.
  • No one should sit on unsafe seating areas.
  • Everyone needs to remain seated when the boat is in operation.
  • Keep three contact points when inside the boat. For example, two feet and one hand.

Fort Lauderdale Boating INjury Attorney


If you or someone you love is injured despite these precautions, contact an experienced Florida boat accident attorney. We’ll help you receive compensation for injuries due to someone else’s negligence.




About the Author: 


Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.