Monday, September 26, 2011

Iowa Boating Accidents Lower

Boaters in Iowa have something to be proud of... they have wrapped up the boating season with the lowest number of boating accidents and injuries in five years...  

Missouri River flooding in Sioux City, Iowa, June, 2011 (USAF photo - Tech. Sgt. Oscar Sanchez)

How did they do it? 
According to an article by Perry Beeman in the Des Moines Register, Iowa has had 36 boating accidents this year, while the number has ranged from 38 to 54 the previous four years. The state has also had 18 boating injuries this year - a number that peaked at 35 in 2009. Several factors may have helped keep the accident and injury rate down in the state of Iowa...
1. The legal blood-alcohol limit was lowered this summer.
2. There was an increase in boating safety messages surrounding the new alcohol law.
3. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has increased patrols over the past few years.
4. The economy, stupid. Higher fuel prices may be keeping people from operating their boats at high speeds.
Certainly all of these factors could have helped Iowa boaters get into less accidents this summer. One commenter in the article even suggested Iowa's older-than-average population may have something to do with it... perhaps Iowa boaters are older and wiser? We also wonder if weather played a part. Did floods and other conditions in the state keep boaters at home this past summer? If you boat in Iowa, we'd love to hear from you...

By the way, there are a few Iowa boating resources on FirstBoat.com.