Boating Accident & Boat Accident Statistics

The South Carolina, waterways are second only to highways in terms of the number of accidental deaths occurring on them.  One of the most popular outdoor activities in the United States and South Carolina is boating, with over 300,000 registered boats in the state alone. Each year in South Carolina, thousands of people are injured or killed in boating wrecks during recreation outings.

United States and South Carolina: Boating Accident Statistics

  • Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 19% of the deaths.
  • The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (46%), personal watercraft (20%), and cabin motorboats (14%).
  • In 2010, the Coast Guard counted 4604 accidents that involved 672 deaths, 3,153 injuries and approximately $35.5 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.
  • The top five primary contributing factors in boating accidents rank as: Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol.
(Source: United States Coastguard)

(The Coast Guard has not determined unmodified inner tubes to be “vessels”; accidents involving them are therefore not included in Coast Guard reports.)  The Coast Guard defines the term “vessel” as any watercraft or artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on the water, including airboats, auxiliary sailboats, jetskis, cabin motorboats, canoes, houseboats, inflatable boats, kayaks, open motorboats, personal watercraft, pontoon boats, rafts, rowboats, and sailboats.

If you or someone you know have been involved in a boating accident, consult a Spartanburg – Greenville boating accident attorney at the Smith & Haskell Law Firm, LLP today at 864.582.6727 to schedule an appointment to discuss the legal options.  We are ready to put our experienced boating accident trial attorneys to work for you.  You have the right to be compensated for a wide range of damages, including property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, permanent injury and pain and suffering. In the event that a death has resulted from your boating accident, a wrongful death suit can be filed – consult a wrongful death attorney.