Summer is here and it is time to enjoy the great outdoors again. Swimming, camping, boating – all types of adventures that can be easily enjoyed. But did you know that the season comes with its fair share of dangers as well? In fact, boating accidents are one of the most common types of accidents to occur during the summer.
Boating accidents are a leading contributor of serious injuries this time of the year. To make sure you are safe while boating, it is crucial to understand the common causes of boat accidents.
Causes of Boating Accidents
Here is a look at some of the most common causes of boating accidents to help you avoid them:
- Inexperience: Many people who go boating do not have the experience they need to be safe when on the water. In fact, it is unfortunate that a lot of people who suffer serious injury or die in a boating accident are inexperienced boaters. Knowledge, experience, and awareness are the most essential factors that impact a successful boating voyage. Sadly, a lot of boat operators are not trained or prepared to handle malfunctioning equipment, an emergency, or navigating through bad weather.
- Intoxication: A lot of boat operators have fun in the sun with alcohol or drugs. This makes for a deadly combination. There are a large number of boaters who go boating intoxicated with one substance or another. Even if the boat operator is sober, the truth is that intoxicated or unruly passengers can create many problems, like distracting the operator, which can also result in a boat accident.
- Distraction: Car accidents are not the only accidents that can be caused by distraction. A high number of boating accidents are also caused by distraction incidents. Boat operators who pay more attention to their smartphones than to what is ahead and around them can crash into another vessel or onto the shore, veer off course or fail to notice weather changes or warning signals, thereby putting everyone’s lives in jeopardy. The fact is that many boat operators do not feel that driving a boat requires the same responsibility as driving a car, and this attitude could cause them their lives, as well as others.
- Faulty Equipment: Without proper boating safety training and knowledge, an inexperienced boater could end up in a serious situation, finding themselves in an emergency situation that they do not know how to get out of. Even boat operators with years of experience can be flummoxed when an electrical malfunction or flooding occurs and they are too far from fellow boaters or land to get the help they need. Faulty equipment in a boat can cause it to go out of control and result in a dangerous crash, whether between vessels, on its own, or crashed against a jetty.
Safety Tips to Help Avoid Boating Accidents
To help make sure that you avoid a boating accident, you should keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Ensure that you have adequate safety equipment onboard: When you go boating, one of the first things you should do is make sure that there is adequate safety equipment, such as life jackets and other flotation devices, for all your passengers. You should also have a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, boat lights, an anchor, and emergency supplies.
- Maintain the boat and its safety equipment: Countless boating accidents are caused by boat or equipment failure. This is why it is critical that you make sure that your boat and the equipment you have onboard are properly maintained on a regular basis. You could be in serious trouble if anything fails while you are on the water and far away from help.
- Carefully monitor water and weather conditions: Many boating accidents are caused by environmental issues, such as hazardous waters, weather, missing navigation aids, dam problems, etc. Before you head out, make sure that you check the weather and water condition reports to avoid dangerous situations on the water.
- Load passengers and gear with caution: If you do not take proper care while loading passengers and gear onto your boat, it could lead to an accident. You should make sure that you avoid problems like overloading the boat, improper anchoring, improper distribution of weight, and so on. It is vital to follow appropriate guidelines for your boat and all waterway laws and to carefully load the vessel to make sure that it does not capsize or result in other types accidents.
- Take an accredited course of boat safety: Would you believe that only a handful of boat operators have actually taken an accredited boat safety course? This is a fact. If you want to avoid accidents while boating, one of the best things you can do is take a course, such as the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) accredited boater safety course.
- Pay attention: Another fundamental boat safety tip is to pay attention to boat operations. It is critical to make sure that you are always vigilant and watchful while operating a vessel. Keep your eyes on the water and focus on the weather and water conditions, the movements of the boat, other vessels, as well as your surroundings. Keep in mind that you should never be distracted by your boat’s passengers or any other diversions onboard.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you should immediately seek legal help from the notable and accomplished personal injury attorneys at Hardesty, Tyde, Green, & Ashton, P.A. by calling 904-249-9030.
Having a judicious and hard charging legal representative can help determine if you have a viable case to file a personal injury suit against the negligent party. If you do have a viable case, your legal representative at Hardesty, Tyde, Green, & Ashton will make sure that you recover damages, including medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and so forth.