Boating is a fun and excellent activity for you and your kids or family. As a buyer or rider, at one point in time, you might be concerned about getting into boating due to some risks or dangers, so I did some research to find out, statistically, if boating is safe or not.
Boating can be a dangerous activity. However, some statistics show that by doing a few changes to the way you ride the boat, you can dramatically reduce the risk of injury and dangers. You can completely turn it into a very safe and fun activity to do with your kids and family.
Any sport or activity has its risks and dangers, but those risks or threats shouldn’t concern you from doing those activities. By doing it the right way and the correct way will give you a lot of fun and thrill (by making you no need to worry about the risk of injuries or dangers due to that activity).
So, doing a few changes to the way you ride will dramatically decrease the risk of injuries or dangers. The real question you should be asking yourself is not boating safe or not. Of course, it is. The real question you should ask yourself is how to prevent that.
With that being said, boating is an enjoyable activity, and it is a safe activity if you do it the right way. That being said, let’s see the statistics of the injuries and accidents due to boating and then some safety precautions you need to take.
Related post – Check my article on Is Jet skiing safe? (links opens in a new tab) to know statistically whether jet skiing is safe or dangerous.
Interesting Statistics on Boating accidents
The statistics below can be an excellent resource for understanding the major causes of boating accidents. And by knowing the causes, you can avoid them by making slight changes in the way you ride, which can cut your risk of serious injury immensely.
- Alcohol usage is a vital cause of boating deaths, which is responsible for 20% of boating deaths(source). That can be prevented by not drinking alcohol while operating the boat or keeping others for operating the boat.
- Operator inattention and less experience are the second most causes of boating deaths, which is around 12 – 15% (source).
- However, there is a steady decrease in the boating accidents and injuries from 2000 – 2019, but there is no steady decrease in deaths; it is almost constant at around 600 – 700 (source) (source).
- For each year, there is a decrease in accident rate compared to the previous year. This ensures that people are becoming more knowledgeable over time and knowing what to do to prevent boating accidents.
- For each year, there is a decrease in injuries rate compared to the previous year. This ensures that people are becoming more knowledgeable over time and knowing what to do to prevent boating accidents.
- More than 40% of accidents occurred due to operator inattention, less experience, and improper lookout (source), Which can be prevented easily by keeping all the things that distract you while operating the boat.
- More than 15% of accidents are occurred due to excessive speed and neglecting boating rules (source), which can be prevented easily by not driving the boat fastly in unnecessary areas (where there are many other boaters) and following the rules.
- Boat failures such as machinery failure, hull failure, and equipment failure related to the boat, which cause 10% of accidents (source). That can be prevented by doing regular maintenance and checks before and after every ride.
- External factors such as the environment, harsh weather, and dangerous water, cause 13% of accidents (source). That can be prevented by checking the weather before starting the trip and checking the weather while operating as well to avoid dangers.
Different types of craft accidents are given below in the table. By looking into the statistics, you will get to know the trends and how they are changing each year.
|Year||Inflatable boat||Kayak and canoe||Open and closed motorboats||PWC|
Below are the complete deaths, injuries, accidents due to boating (source). By looking into the statistics, you will get to know how the accident rate is decreasing and increasing over time.
These accidents and significantly less compared to cars and other motor vehicles. A total of 36,560 people died in motor vehicle crashes in a year, which is 14 times more than the deaths related to boating (source).
With that, you can clearly tell that boats are a lot safer than cars and other motor vehicles. Again, every work or activity has risks and danger, so you can prevent that by making some changes to the ride.
Now, you have gotten some idea about the accidents caused while boating. By knowing the causes, you can try to prevent them. Since boat accidents are less compared to motor vehicles and cars, that doesn’t mean that boating is safe; it depends on the operator.
And by changing those things such as not drinking alcohol while boating, paying proper attention while boating, and following all the boating rules, etc. will prevent the accidents significantly.
Related post – To know Boats vs. PWC, which ones are safer, check my article to know statistically which ones are safer.
Some of the safety tips to be followed while boating
As you got to know some of the significant causes of boating accidents such as operator inattention, improper lookout, less experience, alcohol usage, overloading, etc. then doing some changes to the way you ride, you can avoid them.
You can check one of my articles to know the Major causes of boating accidents (opens in a new tab) in a detailed way for each case (cause). Okay, let’s see some of the safety tips to take while boating.
1. Take a boating safety course
- Before starting boating for the first time or as a beginner, the essential thing as a boater, you need to do is by taking a boating safety course. By taking a course, you will get to know about the boat, terminology, rules, laws, etc., which help you a lot in advance.
- By taking a boating safety course, you will get some experience, and you will get to know the boating rules, which makes you 25% less likely to die or injure in a boating accident.
2. Take help from crew to avoid inattention and improper lookout
- To avoid operator inattention while boating is by keeping all the things that distract you, such as using a phone or doing another work away while boating. You can take help from crew members (if any) otherwise slow down the boat and do it carefully.
- By asking others (crew members) to do some works while operating the boat, you can avoid operator inattention and improper lookout, which makes you 25% less likely to die or injure in a boating accident.
3. Don’t touch alcohol while operating the boat
- Alcohol consumption is causing the majority of deaths related to boating. You can carry it in the boat, but if you are the one who is operating the boat, then you can’t drink while boating. A boat operator shouldn’t drink alcohol while operating the boat, and it’s a rule.
- By avoiding drinking alcohol while operating the boat, you are 20% less likely to die in a boating accident.
4. Check the weather before starting the trip
- Weather is one of the things that concern many people when they think about boating. Like many people think (assume) that the weather is the only dangerous part when it comes to boating, but it is not entirely true; only to some extent.
- By checking the weather condition before starting the trip, you can avoid some percent of boating accidents, which will make you 20% less likely to die or injure in a boating accident.
Those are some of the safety tips to reduce the risks and dangers while boating. Still, there are many things to do to prevent boating accidents. Check my article on How to avoid boating accidents (opens in a new tab) to know more info about the prevention tips.
And finally, some percent (small percent) of the boating accidents are caused by not taking the proper equipment in the boat, such as not having a life jack for each person on board, not having the required visual or sound signaling devices on the boat, etc.
If you are in an emergency while boating, then you need to contact the coast guards, but if you don’t have the proper equipment in the boat, such as VHF radio or EPIRB to contact them, then the emergency situation can turn into a tragedy.
To know what all the safety equipment is required on the boat, check my article on Required safety equipment in a boat (opens in a new tab) to know all the required safety equipment based on where you will go for boating, such as in rivers or lakes or oceans.
Safety is going to be the first priority to anyone, and by taking some measures while boating (operating the boat), you can do that. After doing those changes to the way you ride the boat, you can prevent the majority of the boating accidents. Boating is a fun activity, and it is a safe activity until if you do something wrong or neglect the boating rules.
Some of the causes of boating accidents are simple causes, and you can easily prevent them. Check my article on Boating safety tips (opens in a new tab) to know the essential safety tips in detail.