Risk Of Ohio Boating Accidents As The Summer Season Starts

  • Post category:June 2015

Risk of Ohio Boating Accidents As The Summer Season Starts

Ways To Avoid Ohio Boating Accidents And Staying safe on Ohio Waterways by Following Boating Safety and Operation Laws


As the summer season is gaining momentum more Ohio residents will hit the water. Unfortunately, more Ohioans in the water means a higher chance for injuries and fatalities after Ohio Boating Accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, boating accidents are common. The department conducted a study on boating accidents in the 1990s, indicating common factors that contribute to boating accidents and fatalities in Ohio.

The study examined 1,200 boat owners to determine the biggest causes for boating accidents in Ohio. The Department of Health and Human Services found that the age of driver, amount of training, and operator experience were large factors in incident and accident rates. Other contributing factors to dangerous accidents were number of hours on the water in a single session and distracted operators. Small boats, such as rowboats and canoes had higher fatalities rates than larger crafts. Alcohol was responsible for 21 percent of all fatal accidents and was a factor in 35 percent of all boat crashes. Each year, boating accidents in Ohio account for over 1,000 injuries and $20 million in damages.

Boating related-fatalities are on the rise in Ohio. In 2012, there were just 11 watercraft fatalities in Ohio, but in 2014, that number rose to 22 fatalities. By far, young men are more likely to die in boating accidents. In 18 of the 22 fatalities in 2014, the victims were not wearing life jackets. Most fatalities were caused by risky passenger behavior, alcohol consumption, lack of driver experience, and overloading the boat.

  • Common Causes of Boating Accidents
  • Distracted operators
  • Alcohol consumption
  • No life vests
  • Reckless behavior
  • Long boat trips
  • Lack of operator experience
  • Lack of operator training
  • Young age of operator

In Ohio, boaters are required to follow strict operation and registration laws to reduce the chance of injuries. However, many boat operators in Ohio ignore boating safety and operation laws– to their detriment and the detriment of others. As of 2015, boat operators are required:

  • To have a registered boat
  • To have navigation and safety equipment on-board
  • To identify channel markers and follow operation laws
  • To know how to interact with other craft in the water
  • To have training in boat operation from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) or Ohio Division of Watercraft
  • To remain sober while operating a boat
  • To keep boats in safe, working order
  • To be at least 16 years of age

When Ohio boat operators and passengers follow all safety laws and operation laws, the rate of potential injuries and fatalities drops significantly. Not only does reckless operation increase the risk of injuries and fatalities for the boat and any passengers, it also increases risks for other boats on Ohio waterways. Proper training, experience, and following all rules and regulations can dramatically increase the safety of boating in Ohio during the warm months, making the water a safe, friendly place for all boaters.

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