According to the United States Coast Guard, in recent years there were over 4,000 recreational boating accidents in the United States. The most common factors that contribute to boating accidents occurring include:
When a boat operator is distracted, not paying attention to their surroundings, or is otherwise not fully focused on operating the vessel, they may not be able to respond quickly to changing conditions or water hazards. This can lead to collisions with other boats or objects.
Operating a boat without proper training and experience is another major cause of boating accidents. When an operator is inexperienced, they may not be familiar with proper navigation techniques, safety procedures, or how to respond to unexpected situations.
A lookout person is assigned to watch for boats, objects, or hazards that may cause an accident. When there is no lookout or the lookout person is not paying attention, a potential hazard may be missed, resulting in a boating accident.
Alcohol or Drug Use
The use of alcohol or drugs while operating a boat can impair an operator’s judgment, coordination, and reaction time. This can lead to boat operators being unable to make sound decisions, navigate safely, and respond to changing conditions and hazards.
Boats rely on many complex systems to safely operate, including engines, steering, and electrical systems. If one of these systems break or fail, the boat becomes difficult or impossible to control. Mechanical failures can be caused by several factors, including poor maintenance, wear and tear, or manufacturer defects. Boats that are not maintained or used often are more prone to mechanical failures.
Changes in weather conditions can create hazards on the water, making it more difficult for operators to navigate safely. Storms, high winds, and rough seas can all increase the risk of accidents by causing boats to capsize, collide with other vessels, or be thrown off course.
Avoiding injuries and fatalities that result from boating accidents requires participation from both boat operators and passengers. If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident, contact The Barnes Firm today at (800) 800-0000.