Boating is a popular activity in Florida among both locals and tourists. Unfortunately, many people neglect to take proper safety precautions, and accidents can occur. These accidents can often result in the personal injury or death of one or more people. Authorities are encouraging boaters to wear life jackets and take safety courses in order to prevent injuries and fatalities. 

Last year, there were more than 750 boat-related accidents in Florida. Of those accidents, nearly 70 resulted in at least one death. There were also millions of dollars worth of property damages done as a result of those accidents. In more than 80 percent of the fatal accidents where a passenger was thrown into the water, the passenger was not wearing a life jacket. More than half of those killed also had no formal boater education, and nearly 20 could not swim. 

As is the case with many car accidents, boating accidents are often the result of a distracted driver. However, unlike cars, only a small portion of these distractions are caused by electronic devices like phones or GPS. Boat drivers are often more distracted by conversations with their passengers. People on board the boat are usually relaxed and not playing as close attention to their surroundings as they should. 

Those who were born after Jan. 1, 1988, are now required have a Florida Boating Safety Education ID card in order to operate a boat with a ten horsepower engine or greater. Life jackets have also been made more comfortable over the last several years. They also come in a variety of styles. 

Taking proper safety precautions can help to prevent many boating accidents before they occur. Florida residents who have suffered a personal injury in a boating or other accident could benefit from speaking with an attorney. Victims may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, property damages or funeral costs.