Boating is a fun and excellent activity for you and your family, especially Pontoon boats, are incredibly family-friendly. As a buyer, you might be concerned about pontoon boats, whether they are safe or dangerous than other boats, so I did some research to find out, statistically, if pontoon boats are safe or not.
Pontoon boats can be dangerous, but the statistics show that the pontoon boats are 16.53% safer than other motorized boats (including both open and cabin motorboats). And by doing a few changes to the way you ride the boat, you can dramatically reduce the risk of injury and dangers.
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. And you can completely turn it into a very safe and fun activity to do with your kids and family.
And one of the main advantages of the pontoon boat is its stability in the water. Pontoon boats are more stable in the water than other boats because it has two or three tubes on the hull and they act as two or three hulls, which will give more stability to the boat in the water than other hulled boats.
Stability for a boat is crucial because it prevents the boat from many dangers, such as capsizing, and pontoon boats will give more stability than other boats. Still, a pontoon boat may not work (perform) well in rough waters, so you need to consider that as well while buying a pontoon boat.
With that being said, let’s see some statistics of pontoon boat accidents, injuries, and deaths to get some idea about whether pontoon boats are safe or dangerous compared to other motorized boats and, lastly, some safety measures to take along with it as well.
Related post – Check my article on Is boating safe? (links opens in a new tab) to know statistically whether boating is safe or dangerous.
Interesting Statistics on Pontoon boat accidents
The statistics below can be an excellent resource for understanding the significant causes of pontoon boat accidents. And by knowing the causes, you can avoid them by making slight changes in the way you ride, which can immensely reduce your risk of serious injury.
- From 2010 to 2019, a total of 43,058 boating accidents occurred (source). Out of which 2,792 are related to pontoon boats, and 16,895 are related to motorboats (open and cabin motorboats).
- With that, we can tell that pontoon boats are a lot safer than other boats especially motorized boats (both open and cabin boats) such as jet boats, personal watercraft, Bayliner, Jon boats, etc.
- From 2010 to 2019, a total of 6,482 deaths related to boating has occurred, among which 359 deaths are related to pontoon boats, which is significantly less compared to motorboat deaths that are 3,428.
- Suppose if we compare the deaths from kayak and canoe that are 1,298, which is 4 times more than the deaths related to pontoon boats. With that, we can tell that pontoon boats are a lot safer than non-motorized boats (kayak and canoe).
- Among all the deaths related to a pontoon boat, 60% – 80% of the deaths are caused due to drowning in the water, despite the fact that life jacket is most common among all the boaters.
- From 2010 to 2019, 10,575 personal watercraft accidents have occurred, which is 3.7 times more than pontoon boat accidents. With that, we can tell that pontoon boats are a lot safer than PWCs as well.
- Among all those pontoon boat accidents, more than 50% of the accidents have occurred due to operator inattention and improper lookout, which can be prevented easily.
- Alcohol usage is one of the major causes of deaths related to pontoon boats and in normal boats as well, which can be prevented by not drinking one or by keeping someone else for operating the boat.
- Collision with recreational boats and fixed objects is another major cause for pontoon boat accidents, which can be prevented by proper lookout while boating and maintaining an appropriate distance between other boats.
Pontoon boat, motorboat, and PWC accidents are given below in the table. By looking into the statistics, you will get to know the differences between the pontoon boat accidents and other boat accidents.
|Open and cabin motorboats
You can see the accidents, injuries, and deaths related to the pontoon boats in the table below. By looking into the statistics, you will get to know how many accidents, injuries, and deaths occur in the past years and their trends.
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.
Some of the safety tips to be followed while boating
Now you got to know some of the significant causes of pontoon boat accidents such as operator inattention, improper lookout, less experience, alcohol usage, etc. By making some changes to the way you ride, you can avoid some of 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 you need to do is take 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, especially pontoon boats may not perform well in choppy waters.
Those are some of the safety tips to reduce the risks and dangers while boating. And some of the causes of boating accidents are simple causes, and most of them are easily preventable. Check my article on Boating safety tips (opens in a new tab) to know the essential safety tips in detail.
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 making some changes to the way you ride the boat, you can prevent the majority of the boating accidents.
Especially pontoon boats are more stable than other boats, which gives you extra safety as well. And those statistics also show that pontoon boats are a lot safer than other boats. Boating is a fun activity, and it is a safe activity until if you do something wrong or neglect the boating rules.