Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers Report Boating Accident Statistics in Maryland


Maryland has 23 miles of rivers and bay, more than 400 miles of water tributary to the Chesapeake Bay and coastal bays as well as miles and miles of Atlantic coastline. Nearly 200,000 boats are registered in Maryland, almost 190,000 of which are registered as pleasure boats.

For all of those registered private boats, Maryland has seen relatively few boating accidents in recent years. In fact, 2012 saw a total of just 148 boating accidents, involving more than 170 boats. Of these, 94 accidents involved injuries, while 11 involved fatalities. The total number of accidents represents the lowest level in six years, and 71 fewer accidents than a recent peak in 2010.

While the fatality rate unfortunately did not fall to its lowest level in the past decade, it declined by more than half from its 2011 high of 24, and was still two lower than the average since 2001 of 13 boating fatalities a year. Alcohol was involved in 13 of 2012’s boating accidents, with 8 involving injury and 4 involving fatalities.

Many boating accidents and most boating fatalities can be avoided. Boaters should be careful to always wear life jackets or other adequate personal floatation devices, and the operator should remain sober at all times. Nationwide, while alcohol is only the fifth-most-common contributing factor to the total number of accidents, it is the single greatest contributing factor — by a factor of more than two — to boating accident deaths.

In fact, the things we might worry about most — bad weather, hazardous waters and equipment failure or malfunction — accounted for only 12 percent of the total boating accidents in Maryland in 2012. The vast majority fell into more preventable categories:

  • Operator inattention
  • No proper lookout
  • Excessive speed
  • Alcohol
  • Passenger/skier error
  • Wake

Nearly all of those accidents could have been prevented through more attentive or cautious boating practices.

If you or a loved one becomes the unfortunate victim of a preventable boating accident, you should work with a seasoned Maryland boating accident lawyer to protect your rights and to receive the compensation you deserve. Contact LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. today.