California Boating Accident Statistics Reveal Need to Stay Safe on the Water

Many Californians go boating on the state’s lakes, rivers, and ocean fronts every summer, and many of these boaters take care to protect themselves and others from injury. However, not all boaters are so committed to safety. When a careless or negligent boater, boating equipment manufacturer, or other party fails to take reasonable care with safety issues, serious injuries can result.

And serious injuries do result every year. According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW), California was the scene of 473 boating accidents in 2012. About 247 people were injured in these accidents, and 53 people lost their lives. While these numbers are lower than in previous years, they still represent too many Californians who suffered potentially preventable injuries.

The single largest category of California boating accidents in 2012 involved collisions between two different vessels – whether two boats, two personal watercraft, or one of each. Capsizing, grounding, or sinking were also common. By contrast, collisions with floating objects like logs or buoys were relatively rare. Over 160 accidents were caused by “driver inattention,” and “operator inexperience” and “excessive speed” each caused over 100 accidents apiece in 2012, according to the DBW. Passenger or skier behavior also led to several accidents in 2012, as did machinery and equipment failures potentially caused by defective parts.

If you’re injured in a California boating accident this summer, the dedicated San Jose boating accident attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP can help. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to learn more about your legal options.