Section VI

Accident Data Charts

The charts in this section are designed to provide general statewide information on boating accidents. There are three groups of charts which give information for:

Charts for All Accidents

Some charts are organized by the total number of accidents, which was 772. Other charts are organized by the total number of vessels, which was 1,108. The totals listed on the charts Type of Accident and Cause of Accident exceed the total number of accidents because many accidents fell into more than one category. The chart Operators Involved in All Accidents by Age adds to 1,108 for the total number of vessels. There is a subtotal of 989, which indicates the total number of operators, as 119 vessels involved in accidents did not have operators.

Charts for PWC Accidents

The totals listed on the charts Type of Accident and Cause of Accident exceed the total number of PWC accidents, which was 229, because many accidents fell into more than one category.

Charts for Fatal Accidents

Totals on most of the charts containing information for fatal accidents add up to the total number of fatalities, which was 58. Other charts are organized by the total number of vessels involved in fatal accidents, which was 56. The total listed on the chart Cause of Accident exceeds the total number of fatalities because many accidents involving fatalities fell into more than one category.

Chart 1
Accidents by Month

TOTAL ACCIDENTS = 772

DID YOU KNOW... Most boating accidents occurred from June through September, with the greatest number of accidents occuring in July.

Chart 2
Accidents by Day of the Week

TOTAL ACCIDENTS = 772

DID YOU KNOW... 61 percent of all accidents occurred on weekends (Saturday and Sunday).

Chart 3
Accidents by Time of Day

TOTAL ACCIDENTS = 772

DID YOU KNOW... Most boating accidents occurred between noon (12:00) and 6:00pm (18:00).

Chart 4
Vessels Involved in All Accidents by Type

TOTAL VESSELS = 1,108

DID YOU KNOW... Personal watercraft (PWC) and open motorboats comprised 72% of all vessels involved in accidents.

Chart 5
Vessels Involved in All Accidents by Length

TOTAL VESSELS = 1,108

DID YOU KNOW... Vessels 16-25 feet in length were involved in more accidents than any other category, followed by vessels <16 feet. These two categories accounted for 74% of all vessels involved in accidents.

Chart 6
Operators Involved in All Accidents by Age

TOTAL OPERATORS = 989*
TOTAL VESSELS = 1,108

"No Operator" refers to accidents involving vessels where there was no operator present at the time of the accident. Most of these vessels were in vessel slips, tied to docks, or moored, and were struck by other vessels. Some accident reports submitted to the Department do not include operator age information, as indicated by the "Age Unknown" category.

DID YOU KNOW... Operators from the 21-30 age group were involved in more accidents than any other age group, followed closely by the 31-40 age group.

Chart 7
Operation at Time of Accident

TOTAL VESSELS = 1,108

DID YOU KNOW... Cruising was the most common type of vessel operation preceding accidents, followed by changing direction.

Chart 8
Type of Accident

TOTAL TYPES = 875
TOTAL ACCIDENTS = 772*

* Percentages are derived from this number. Some accidents are represented by more than one accident type, which accounts for the accident types exceeding the number of accidents. An example of such an accident is when an operator falls overboard and is then struck by another vessel. Such an accident would be represented in both the "Falls Overboard" category and the "Struck by Boat/Propeller" category, since both of these occurrences were significant components of the accident.

DID YOU KNOW... By far the leading type of accident involved vessels colliding with other vessels. 38% of all accidents were the result of such collisions.

Chart 9
Cause of Accident


TOTAL CAUSES = 1,256
TOTAL ACCIDENTS = 772*

DID YOU KNOW... Operator inexperience was the most common cause of accidents (41%), followed by operator inattention (34%), and excessive speed (28%).

Chart 10
Accident Locations

DID YOU KNOW... More boating accidents occurred on lakes than on any other type of body of water.

Chart 11
Water Skiing Accidents

The "Combination categories refer to accidents in which a boat towing a water skier was involved in an accident with a boat towing an inner tube or board. These categories are used to prevent double-counting.

DID YOU KNOW... Accidents involving inner tubes accounted for the largest numbers of water skiing accidents, followed closely by traditional water skiing accidents.

Chart 12
Vessels Involved in All Accidents by Rental Status

DID YOU KNOW... Only 9% of vessels involved in boating accidents were rented.

Chart 13
Rented Vessels Involved in All Accidents by Vessel Type

DID YOU KNOW... The majority of rented vessels involved in boating accidents were personal watercraft (PWC).

Charts 14-28

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