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Fatal boating accident statistics and causes

Given that Southern California promises year-round boating and other outdoor recreation opportunities, residents and tourists alike flock to the water. Unfortunately, though, negligence and sheer recklessness on the part of some boaters can have devastating consequences for people just looking to have a good time. That is why it is important for people to understand the major risks and accident rates associated with boating.

According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways, in 2013, six people lost their lives in boating accidents in Southern California. That number was a 63 percent decrease from boating-related fatalities in 2012, but still serves as a sobering reminder that more can and should be done to prevent fatal boating accident incidents from occurring. After all, the total number of boating accidents that occurred in Southern California increased by 22 percent from 2012 two 2013.

Discussing the major causes for recreational boating accident injuries and deaths across the country, the United States Coast Guard explains that alcohol is a major factor in many cases. Alcohol consumption is estimated to contribute to more than 50 percent of all fatal boating accident incidents. Beyond that, boating accidents now result in more deaths each year than train accidents or airplane crashes.

As is the case with motor vehicles, operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in the state of California. Boat operators who consume alcohol are significantly more likely to sustain fatal injuries in an accident, and water conditions are known to make alcohol symptoms more severe. It is also important to note that many of the factors that contribute to boating accidents are entirely preventable. In addition to alcohol, speeding, carelessness and the failure to follow proper safety precautions all contribute to serious injury and fatality incidents.

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