How Many Boat Crashes Occur on Labor Day in Florida?
If the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (“FWC”) have numbers of boating crashes and accidents for just Labor Day, we are not privy to them. But we are privy to the last boating accident numbers for 2021. The number of boating accidents in the State of Florida for 2021 was 751. But to be more specific, one TV station obtained information which showed that in July of 2021 the FWC investigated more than 50 boating accidents.
Here is the link to that story: FWC warning against boating under the influence this holiday weekend (winknews.com)
It is no secret that Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and then Labor Day are three of the busiest boating holidays in the State of Florida. According to the FWC in 2022 Florida passed the mark of 1,000,000 recreational vessels. But that is not all of the boaters who motor through Florida waters; that number of 1,000,000 boats does not include unregistered boats, USCG-registered boats, boats from other states, or commercial boating traffic. On a sunny day, on a holiday like Labor Day it is easy to comprehend the chances for a boating crash or boating injury increase.
Where the Most Boating Accidents Occur in Florida Is in the Numbers
The FWC boating statistics are a good snapshot as to where the most boating accidents and boating injuries occur. We analyzed the boating accident and injury numbers.
Here is what the numbers show us: the inland counties have a far lower rate of accidents, deaths and injuries. For instance, take Marion County (Ocala area); it has a similar number of boats to Manatee County (Bradenton area) and even considerably more boats than Martin County (Stuart area), but Manatee and Martin County both had significantly higher boating accidents and injury numbers. Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties (Florida Keys area)—who are the number 1 and number 2 respectively, in total number of accidents are very close in total number of accidents and total number of injuries. Palm Beach County was number 3 in total boating accidents, Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay area) was 4 and Pinellas County (Clearwater/St.Petersburg area) was 5. So the top 5 counties for most boating accidents and boating injuries in Florida are coastal counties.
Here is more support for the findings that most boating accidents and injuries occur along the coast in Florida, not inland. Palm Beach County had roughly 37,000 registered vessels in 2021, only about 1000 more than Orange County (Orlando area) at 36,000 vessels; however, Orange County had only 4 accidents, compared to Palm Beach County’s 54 boating accidents. Orange County ranked 35th in the Florida Boating accidents statistics, while Palm Beach County ranked 3rd. So it is clear that the majority of the boating crashes and boating injury cases occur in Florida counties where there is a coastline.
The entire boating accident and injury chart is located here: 2020 Florida Boating Accident Statistical Report (myfwc.com)
Where the Boat Crash Occurs Determines Which Law Applies
Where the boat crash or boat injury accident occurs is a huge deal. Why? Because if the boating injury accident occurred along the Florida shoreline—sorry car accident attorneys—Florida law does not apply. Maritime law does. What you don’t want to do is to hire the car accident or dog bite attorney guy to handle your serious boating accident injury case. If they are lucky the car accident guy will have one boating case about every five years. You could choose that attorney. Or, you could choose a law firm with 25 years of specifically handling boating accident injury cases. Yes, we know the maritime law. Yes, the car accident attorneys refer their cases to us. There is a reason the car accident attorneys refer boating accident cases to us and not vice versa. Consider this: a podiatrist knows that he/she does not know cardiology. The podiatrist knows to refer a heart patient to a real cardiologist. If you have suffered boating accident injuries do not go to the car accident guys. Come to the specialist attorneys who handle these types of cases every day. The car accident attorneys are not maritime law specialists. But we are.
This is your case. Choosing the right attorney is critical. It is important that you get this part right. You can have confidence in the law firm that has 25 years successfully handling boating accident injury cases.
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