How safe is boating, and how can you make your boat trip safer? One way we can learn to prevent future boating accidents is to read about the most common causes of past boat accidents. What are the most common causes of boat accidents? How many boat accidents happened across the country last year? Find out by reading our boat accident statistics.

National Boating Statistics

With summer quickly approaching, many in Washington State will head to the lakes, rivers, and beaches for water recreation and activities. However, although these days on the water can be filled with fun, they can also be dangerous if you do not obey federal and Washington State boating laws. How common are boating accidents, boating injuries, and boating fatalities?

Here are some recent boat accident statistics:

· According to data collected by the National Recreational Boating Safety Program, there are roughly 700 boating fatalities each year in the United States. In 2007, there were 685 boat accident deaths.

· Also according to the NRBSP, there are also roughly 3,500 boat accident injuries a year, with 3,673 boat accident injuries across the country in 2007.

· All in all, there were 5,191 boat accidents in 2007, resulting in over $53 million in damages.

· Drinking alcohol while boating was a factor in one out of five boat accidents.

· Seventy-five percent of boat accident drownings took place in boats that were under 21 feet long.

· Only 14 percent of boating drivers involved in boat accidents had taken a boating safety course. The other 85 percent had not taken a boat safety course.

· About 20 children each year die in boat accidents, with 16 children dying in 2007. Half of the children who die in boat accidents drown. Many of these accidents could be easily prevented with life jackets.

· In 2007, 44 percent of boat accidents involved open motorboats. Personal watercraft were involved in 24 percent of accidents, and cabin motorboats were responsible for 15 percent of accidents.

· The most common causes of boat accidents in 2007 were operator inattention, careless boat operation, reckless boat operation, passenger behavior, water skier behavior, speeding, and drinking while operating a boat.

· Nine out of ten people who drown during a boat accident were not wearing life jackets.