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How Do Boat Accidents Happen?

Boat party many people with alcohol having funBefore you head out onto the water, it’s important to make sure that you’re safe. While taking the boat out for the day can seem like a lot of fun, it also has the potential to be dangerous. Sadly, in 2019, there were 619 deaths and over 2,000 injuries related to boating accidents. According to the U.S. Coastguard, this has resulted in around 38 million dollars’ worth of damages to vessels. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why these boating accidents, so you’ll be able to avoid making the same mistakes.

Not Knowing the Rules Of The Waterway

When you take out your boat, you will need to make sure that you are following the right rules. For example, you will need to make sure that you are going down the right side of the river. Sadly, some operators might not be aware of the regulations that they need to abide by. This can often result in a potentially dangerous situation. There are a few simple ways that you will be able to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you. For example, you might want to take a refresher course before you head out onto the water. This will ensure that you are familiar with the boating navigation rules. In many courses, attending one of these boating navigation courses can also help you pay less for your insurance.

Speeding

Speeding is often a common factor in boat accidents. There are strict laws that govern how quickly you will be able to travel. Often, this will depend on how close you are traveling to the shore and how large your boat is. There are several reasons why not following these rules can be increasing your chances of having a boat accident. First, the faster you are going, the harder it will be to keep control of the boat. This is a common problem amongst less experienced boat operators. High speeds will also make it harder for you to stop suddenly if you need to avoid an unforeseen obstacle. Even if you don’t have a watercraft accident, you might still be facing a fine if you get caught speeding.

Not Having A Lookout

You will also need to make sure that you keep an appropriate lookout. This will ensure that you will be able to spot obstacles, like logs or rocks, in time. This is essential if you are engaging in watersports, like tubing or waterskiing. This will help you make sure that your passenger does not accidentally get put into a dangerous situation. For example, you will need to make sure that you’re keeping them out of the wake of another boat. As the operator of a watercraft, it is important to make sure that you are aware of any swimmers in the water. If your actions cause them to get hurt, they might hire a personal injury attorney and sue you for negligence.

Overloading the Boat

It’s important to check how many people your boat can carry when planning for your journey. Overloading the boat can often cause a potentially dangerous situation. For example, you might be at risk of capsizing the boat. In other cases, someone might go overboard. If you don’t react quickly, they might be at risk of drowning.

Not Having the Right Equipment

When planning your boat trip, you will need to check that you have the right equipment before you leave. Basic safety equipment, like life jackets, can save your life in an accident. You will also need to make sure that you have a flare, so you can signal to other boats if you get into trouble. Another crucial piece of equipment is a radio, so you can call for help. In many cases, the Coastguard will stipulate what equipment you need to have on board.

Driving While Drunk

One of the most common contributing factors in boating accidents is alcohol and drugs. These can have a big impact on your perception. This can make it harder for you to see a potential obstacle and slow your reaction times. As a result, there are strict laws in place to make sure that everyone is safe on the water. You will need to make sure that your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is less than 0.08. If it is not, you will be committing a crime and might be subject to harsh penalties.

Not Paying Attention to the Weather

Before you leave, you should always make sure to check the weather reports. This can give you a good idea of the type of conditions you can expect on the water. If there is likely to be storms or wild winds, it might be a good idea to avoid taking the boat out on that day. It is also a good idea to pay attention to how high the waves are expected to be, to make sure that you’re not damaging your hull. If you are planning a longer boat trip, you might want to get updates throughout the day and prepare a back-up plan.

Inattentive Drivers

Finally, the most common reason why boat accidents occur is that the driver wasn’t paying attention. While spending some time on the water can be a great experience, it can also be potentially dangerous. The waters can change suddenly if the weather conditions start to shift. You will also need to be paying attention to other drivers. For example, their wake might impact on your boat, causing damage to the hull. You will also need to consider the behavior of your passengers. It is important to make sure that no-one is acting recklessly. This is especially important if alcohol is involved.

Conclusion

Spending some time on the water can be a great way to spend the day. It can be a very relaxing environment. However, it might also present a potential hazard, especially if you are not paying attention. Hopefully, you now have a better idea about some of the reasons why these boating accidents happen and what you can do to avoid them in the future. If you have been injured on the water, you might need a boat accident lawyer. Our experienced watercraft accident team will be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. So, contact The Injury Firm today and find out how we can help: 954-951-0000.


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