It's really sad when people, apparently, inject opinion where facts would be more useful. The judge seems to suggest that consumption of alcohol and other mild-altering substances are particularly a problem for paddlers, but if I'm not mistaken these activities may also have harmful effects on drivers. But more to the point, a quick look at data seems to refute the statement about canoeing being more dangerous than motor vehicle travel. Drawing from data collected by the USDOT and the US Coast Guard (had to do some number crunching to get here... correct me if I made any errors), :
- in 2017 there were 13 deaths per 100,000 registered terrestrial motor vehicles
- in 2017 there were 5.5 deaths per 100,000 registered watercraft
- only 24% of watercraft-related deaths in 2017 were from canoeing/kayaking
Of course not all motor vehicles and canoes/kayaks in use are registered, and not all register motor vehicles and canoes/kayaks are used. It may be challenging to compare (apples to oranges); maybe if date were reported per unit time engaged in these activities. Still, at a glance it doesn't seem that canoeing and kayaking are grossly more dangerous than taking to the roads.
In any case, please don't drink and paddle.