Recreational boating remains a major leisure activity in the United States, with around 11.88 million registered recreational boating vessels. Recreational boating encompasses the following vehicles:
- Personal watercraft include rowing/paddle boats,
- Other personal watercraft.
You may want to contact your Massachusetts personal injury attorney if you’d like to know more about personal injury in boating incidences.
Although boating is a popular pastime, piloting a motorized vehicle comes with its own set of dangers. According to the US Coast Guard, 613 people died in 4,168 accidents in 2019. Boating accidents also resulted in 2,559 injuries and $55 million in property damage.
In this post, we’ll go through the most common causes of boating accidents and what you should do if you’re ever in one. You’ll also learn how a boating accident lawyer can assist you and why it’s critical to call a boat injury lawyer as soon as possible following an accident.
The Main Causes for Boating Accidents
When you’re having fun on the water, it’s easy to let your guard down. Collisions frequently happen when you least expect them. Some of the most prevalent causes of boating accidents are listed below.
The distraction of the operator
In 2019, operator distraction was the leading cause of boating accidents; similar to driving a car, operating a watercraft while distracted can have serious repercussions.
Using telephones, eating, or operating GPS or other devices diverts your attention away from the water. Because the water conditions might change at any time, even temporarily diverting your focus away from it can lead to a harmful accident. When faced with such a circumstance, contact a Boston personal injury lawyer to aid you in the situation.
Boating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a major issue, accounting for approximately half of all boating accidents. Alcohol is also the most lethal contributing factor, with 113 deaths due to alcohol alone recorded in 2019. Dangerous waters were the next leading cause of mortality, accounting for 48 deaths.
Alcohol on board a vessel might be common due to the casual nature of recreational boating. It’s easy for the driver to join the passengers in enjoying a few drinks in the sun. However, even a single drink can affect your judgment, putting you and others in danger of death or serious injury. If you ever find yourself in such a dangerous situation, then be sure to hire a personal injury lawyer in Boston.
- Unsuitable Observation
Accidents can and will happen if you don’t keep a continual eye on your surroundings.
According to US navigation laws, every vessel must “maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing, as well as by all available methods” in order to avoid and protect oneself from an accident.
This includes keeping an eye out for other boats, bridge clearances, logs, and other potential dangers. Because this responsibility is rather involved, it’s ideal to have a passenger assisting as the lookout.
- Inexperienced operators
Inexperienced operators are also a major contributor to boating accidents. 70% of boating accident deaths, according to the US Coast Guard, are due to a lack of operator expertise and safety training.
In comparison, only 20% of accident deaths involve a vessel operator who was nationally qualified for boating safety occurred.
During an emergency, operator experience is critical. To ensure the safety of everyone on board, operators must be able to respond to regularly changing situations.
- Excessive Speeds
Operating a boat at high speeds might be a tragedy waiting to happen. There are various dangers associated with speeding, including:
- Increase risk that the boat capsizes
- Difficulty identifying underwater rocks or other hazards
- Less time to respond and maneuver your boat around dangers
- More instances of severe property damage and injuries
When choosing a safe driving speed, operators must consider a variety of elements like visibility, weather, and traffic conditions.
These are the major causes of boating accidents, and a personal injury lawyer in Boston can help you if you are faced with any of these accidents.