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Top 5 Reasons For Boating Accidents & How to Avoid Them


Top Causes of Boating Accidents

All of the products we offer at Boat Covers Direct help you protect and preserve the boat (or boats) that you love. But what about the people that ride in the boat with you?

Sure, our bimini tops can help you and your precious cargo stay out of the sun and protect your skin, but much of the precautions needed to protect a boat’s passengers are the responsibility of the boat’s owner and/or the Captain.

The Boat Captain pirate like figurine

Protecting Your Boat and Your Passengers

That doesn’t mean that we can’t help you out by providing information that might just reduce the likelihood of something bad happening out on the water. As such, we wanted to share the latest information from the latest U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Statistics Publication¬†with you…

Boating Deaths Per Year In the US

How many people are dying from boating accidents each year in the US? Are boating deaths up, down or staying about the same? As you can see from the graphic below, the answer is that the rates have stayed roughly the same over the past few decades, although there has been a minor uptick in the past couple of years.

graph showing the annual recreational boating fatality rates between 1997-2011

What Are the Causes of Boating Accidents?

The primary causes of boating accidents might surprise you. If we had to guess what the #1 cause of accidents might be before seeing this report, we’d probably have guessed alcohol-related accidents would have topped the list. However, alcohol-related accidents aren’t even in the Top-5 (they’re #6):

chart showing the top ten contributing factors of accidents

What's the Most Dangerous Time to Be On the Water?

Here’s another interesting bit of information. When do you think most boating accidents occur? We would have guessed about noon when the water is packed with boats, but most accidents occur a bit later in the afternoon between 2:30 – 4:30 pm. Our guess as to why this is that there are still a bunch of people on the lake, but more people are tired, relaxed and maybe have a few more drinks in them than they do earlier in the day.

graph showing the time that most accidents occur while boating

The Good News?

The good news about all of this is that when you know what actually causes most boating accidents, it helps you take the necessary precautions to avoid them, keeping you, your boat and your passengers safe in the process.

Since you can see that the Top 4 Reasons for boating accidents are completely preventable (human error) and Reason #5 is primarily a matter of maintenance & upkeep, you can take extra precaution to make sure that you’re:

  1. Always focused and paying attention when you’re in the Captain’s seat (especially later in the afternoon),
  2. Always have an experienced Captain in the seat and/or read and take boating lessons to make sure you know the rules of the water,
  3. Keeping your boat well-maintained to reduce the likelihood of mechanical problems.

Of course, all the common sense rules still need to be covered: don’t drink and drive and always keep enough life vests on board for your passengers and even your pets. If you take these precautions, you can enjoy the boat and the water with the people you love and keep them all safe and protected.

Happy Boating!

Click here to read the full report from the Boating Safety Resource Center.

cartoonish pirate figurine

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