Human Error in Recreational Boating

Each year over 600 people die and more than 4000 are reported injured in recreational boating accidents. As with most other accidents, human error is the major contributor. U.S. Coast Guard reports of 3358 accidents were analyzed to identify errors in each of the boat types by which statistics are compiled: auxiliary (motor) sailboats, cabin motorboats, canoes and kayaks, house boats, personal watercraft, open motorboats, pontoon boats, row boats, sail-only boats. The individual errors were grouped into categories on the basis of similarities in the behavior involved. Those presented here are the categories accounting for at least 5% of all errors when summed across boat types. The most revealing and significant finding is the extent to which the errors vary across types. Since boating is carried out with one or two types of boats for long periods of time, effective accident prevention measures, including safety instruction, need to be geared to individual boat types.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Abstract reprinted with permission from Elsevier
  • Authors:
    • McKnight, A James
    • Becker, Wayne W
    • Pettit, Anthony J
    • McKnight, A Scott
  • Publication Date: 2007-3


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01042364
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 21 2007 11:25PM