Originally Posted by Tempest
Let's not lose sight of the fact that one of the most compelling statistics is that, of 533 drowings, life jackets were not being worn in 415 of the cases.
Interestingly, if I read this and the state's boating laws correctly; In the two states with the highest number of fatalities: California and Florida; California does not have mandatory boater education class and Florida has a requirement for those born after 1988 ( 24 and younger at this point)
, New York only requires jet ski operators to attend a safety class...NY fatalities are going in the wrong direction.
For those that oppose mandatory education for everyone...
I suppose if the authorities really wanted to dramatically reduce the boating deaths they could make it mandatory for everyone on recreational vessels 26' or less to wear a life jacket, In those states where the majority of the deaths occur. There were 118 drownings in canoes and kayaks and 253 in open motor boats. ( probably under 26 ft. I didn't check)
I'm not proposing that. But, here in my state of NJ, every single operator of a motorized vessel MUST take a course, and we average about 8 deaths a year. While, California and Florida average over 100 deaths a year and have much looser regulations.
Seems like a more targeted solution would be in order...if saving lives is what we're after.
For any kind of meaningful statistical inference, you need to find the ratio between the number of fatalities versus the number of boaters for each state and compare that number. Since Florida and California most likely have more boaters than any other state, they should be expected to have the highest number of boating fatalities.
As an example of this concept, looking at the data, there are more injuries and fatalities on Saturdays than any other day of the week. This does not mean that you should avoid boating on Saturdays because that day is more dangerous; it just means there are more people boating on that day of the week.