Articles Tagged with Key West boating accident lawyers

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Florida boating safety billA Florida boating safety bill targeting illegal boat charters and questionable rental companies is wading its way through the state legislature.

As our Key West boating accident lawyers can explain, careless boat operations are consistently the No. 1 cause of boat accidents and deaths off Florida shores. The Sunshine State has, by far, the most boating accidents, injuries, and fatalities in the country.

In recent years, the U.S. Coast Guard has amplified its warnings and crackdowns on illegal charters. Such operations are problematic because an unlicensed charter may not have:

  • The proper emergency safety, navigation, and communication gear.
  • Undergone the proper license exams and inspections.
  • Adequate insurance to cover damages if there is a boating accident injury or something goes wrong.

Senate Bill 606, also known as the Boating Safety Act of 2022, takes aim at illegal boat rentals and charter operations. Under the bill, violating rules on boating under the influence, unsafe navigation, expired registration, damaging seagrass, and anchoring in prohibited areas would result in higher non-criminal fines (from $50 to $100). Continue reading

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Florida boating accidentsWe all know distracted drivers pose a serious threat on South Florida roads, but did you know distracted boating is also a significant and growing problem that sharply increases the risk of boating incidents?

A recent analysis of Florida boating incident statistics by Treasure Coast Newspapers revealed that operator inattention was by far the No. 1 cause of South Florida boating incidents – exceeding other factors like speeding, weather, failed mechanics, hazardous water and alcohol use combined. Nationally, operator inattention and improper lookout have accounted for nearly a quarter of all boating incidents over the last five years.

Distractions that Lead to Florida Boating Incidents

So what else has captured the attention of so many Florida boaters? Smartphones, mostly. Texting while boating has rapidly become a top concern of state and federal boating safety officials. The assistant director of boating safety for the BoatUS Foundation was quoted as saying, “If you’re texting from the helm, you’re likely not helming the boat.”

Our Key West boating accident attorneys note too that unlike cars traveling on a highway, boats have the potential to approach from all directions. They come in widely varying sizes and move at different rates of speed. Boat operators must be paying close attention at all times, especially when waves, wind, sun glare and vibration are factors too. Continue reading

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