The summer has unofficially started as of this Memorial Day. Everyone across the country will be flocking outside to enjoy the warm weather, the sun, the sand, and the great outdoors. Those who are fortunate enough to own boats will be dusting off their vessels ands setting sail. Unfortunately, however, boating is a leading cause of injury and death in recreation, responsible for about 600 deaths a year in the United States.
Because this cause of injury and death is so large, we decided to take a closer look at the phenomenon using data. Below are our findings on the prevalence of boating injuries:
The leading causes of boating injury is operator inattention, followed by improper lookout, and operator inexperience.
As with distracted driving, distraction is also a major problem while boating. The next leading cause is improper lookout. After that is operator inexperience: While it may seem fun to let your kids take a shot at driving the boat, it’s probably best to leave it to the adults.
Alcohol is the leading cause of boating deaths.
While alcohol is only the sixth leading cause of boating accidents, it’s first in causing deaths. Again, the car metaphor applies: Drinking and operating a heavy machine is a bad idea.
Most boating accidents happen in the afternoon on the weekend.
The Saturday afternoons are when the most people are out on the water, so it makes sense that it’s also the time of day with the most accidents.
The rate of boating accidents has been falling over time, but has leveled off recently.
While the rate has always been fairly low, the rate of boating accidents has decreased in recent years thanks to improving technology, better enforcement, and increasing training.