Do Crowded Water Ways, Result In More Danger?

This time of year, when the weather is warming and the skies clear, the waters of Lake of the Ozarks and other water ways will be crowded with boats, canoes, paddle boards and jet skis. And inevitably, each year, there will be recreational boating accidents that cause minor and more serious injuries and even fatalities. lets take a look at the causes of boat accidents so you can better protect yourself and your loved ones.


Lake of the Ozarks contributes to 50% of the number of boating crashes, injuries, crashes involving rental boats, and injuries involving rental boats, for the state of Missouri. Lake of the Ozarks is the number 1 recreational lake in Missouri and in the top 10 recreational lakes in the United States.   On the flip side, Lake of the Ozarks is ranked 3rd most dangerous lake in the nation.

2020 Boating Totals for Missouri


Number of boating crashes


Number of injury boating crashes


Number of injuries not related to crashes


Number of boating crashes involving one or more rental boats


Number of injuries involving one or more rental boats


Number of Drownings


Number of fatalities


Number of boating fatalities in rental boats


2020 Boating Totals for Lake of the Ozarks


Number of boating crashes


Number of injury boating crashes


Number of injuries not related to crashes


Number of boating crashes involving rental boats


Number of injuries involving rental boats


Number of Drownings


Number of fatalities


Number of boating fatalities in rental boats



#1 Inexperienced Boaters

For a long time, anyone could drive a boat, but recent laws require that those driving a boat obtain a State Boater Education Card. This sounds well and good, but it’s just an online course and exam, not a hands-on practical to ensure boat drivers have necessary skills. Most boat accidents leading to death occurred when the driver had not received adequate instruction.   Contact a experienced captain for on the water lessons. 

#2 Lack of Life Jacket Usage

Most deaths associated with boat accidents were drownings and in 84% of the cases, life jackets were not worn. And parents aren’t properly life jacketing their children. 36% of child fatalities in boating accidents were due to drowning and in 62.5% of these drowning cases, life jackets were not present. These tragic deaths can be prevented. 

#3 Alcohol Consumption

As with motor vehicle accidents, alcohol consumption is a huge problem. Alcohol consumption is the leading cause in recreational boating accidents that caused a fatality. Most drivers know not to get out behind the wheel of a car, but don’t think twice about drinking and tooling around in a boat. Also, hot weather leads to increased thirst which can lead to reaching more often for a cold alcoholic beverage.

#4 Collisions

The first and third most common causes of boating accidents are types of collisions. Top most is a collision with another recreational vehicle whether it’s another boat or a jet ski or other watercraft. This accounts for the most injuries and third most common cause of deaths. Collisions with fixed objects like piers or buoys is the second most common cause of maritime death.

#5 Distracted driving

In motor vehicles, distracted driving is a leading cause of fatal accidents and it’s the same on the water. A boat operator not paying attention to the task at hand is the second most common cause of death after alcohol consumption.

Speeding and hazardous water conditions are also in the top five causes of death on the water and can also be attributed to a driver not paying attention to what they’re doing.


1.Boater education, 

for Missouri

2. Review rules of the road, navigation rules who has right-a-way.

3. Have a designation look out, extra pair of eyes will help spot possible hazards.

4. If you are going to drink, get a designated sober driver, or hire a captain.

5.  Put down the cell phone, do not text and boat. don't be distracted.  

6.  Wear it!! wear a life jacket  if you are unconscious you can not swim.

Be safe, have fun, don't be a statistic


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