It looks like it’s going to be a great start to the summer this week. If you are planning on being out on the water , please keep in mind some basic boating safety . There are far too many Ontario boating accidents in Ontario each summer. As an Ontario boating accident lawyer, I wish to remind you that boats (including jet skis and sea doos) are motor vehicles and often times people forget that driving rules apply when operating a motor vehicle on the open water. As an Ontario boating accident lawyer, I represent victims of boating accidents who have suffered serious injury and wrongful deaths resulting from serious boating accidents in Ontario. Most often, with Ontario boating accidents, alcohol is a contributing factor. We all know not to drink and drive a car, but this also needs to be the rule when it comes to boating.
Boating Accident Statistics
The Recreational Boating statistics in 2010 indicated that alcohol contributed to 19 % of boating deaths, which means that alcohol was the leading contributing factor in all fatal boating accidents. This shocking statistic is an increase by 3% points from 2009, when alcohol was indicated as the leading contributing factor to 16 5 of boating deaths. The primary contributing factors in most boating accidents were alcohol, speed, driver inattention, improper lookout and inexperienced drivers.
A Canadian Red Cross study covering 15 years of boating deaths in Canada (1991 to 2006) found that of 2,232 people who drowned or died of hypothermia, only 12% were wearing a life jacket properly. Approximately 85% of boating deaths occur in Canada’s fresh waterways, according to a 10-year study by the Canadian Red Cross published last year. According to the study, 393 recreational boaters drowned in B.C. between 1991 and 2006, accounting for 18% of all such deaths in Canada. Contributing factors in the deaths were lack of flotation devices, water temperature and drinking. 68% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket, and of those, 27% of motorboaters had life jackets on board but chose not to wear them, while 13% of people in nonmotorized boats died with their flotation devices stowed out of reach. Boaters who don’t have enough life vests on board face a fine for every life jacket they’re missing.
Please, be safe out there and enjoy the water and this beautiful summer we are having!