The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced last week that boating fatalities were down in 2010 compared to the previous year. We're not sure why these 2010 statistics come out in December of 2011 in today's world of instant-information, but to be fair the NTSB looks at the entire world of transportation, including airplane accidents, cars, trucks motorcycles, buses and trains. They also look at pipeline fatalities (#random).
Anyway, the number of boating fatalities in 2010 fell to 672 from 736 in 2009. This reduction in boating deaths is good news, but we don't know the factors behind the drop.
What we DO know is that an overwhelming number of recreational boating deaths are caused by drowning, and it has been demonstrated again and again that if more people wore life jackets while boating, less people would die while boating. In the past, the NTSB has also called out states with weak boating education laws, suggesting that if more boaters took safe boating courses, less people would die boating.
We're looking forward to seeing more boaters on the water wearing life jackets in 2012, and more people taking boating safety courses before embarking on their first voyage.