What Are The Leading Causes of Boating Accidents?


During the summer months, people constantly look for ways to cool off. Some go to the beach or swimming pools while others use the air conditioning longer. But some of us opt for another option which is boating. Unfortunately, boating is not without its share of accidents. The good news is that most of these are preventable. Prevention is the best defense against accidents. You might be entitled to compensation if you suffer injuries in a boating accident. A lawyer like the ones at Charles D. Naylor Law can assist you in understanding the complexities of filing a claim if someone is at fault for your injuries. Read on for the most common causes of boating accidents and some tips to avoid accidents on the water.

Collisions With Other Boats

Collisions with other boats are the most frequent cause of boating accidents, and fatalities can result. Injuries and fatalities can occur when a boat collides with another boat or a fixed object. In addition, operator inattention or faulty maintenance can result in collisions. Falling overboard is the most common cause of fatal boating accidents, and it often happens to a person is not wearing a life jacket or personal flotation device.

In these cases, the boat’s operator may be found at fault, even if he did not violate the law or do anything to avoid the collision. In such situations, the court can find that the boat’s operator had contributed to the accident and should be compensated for his actions. As such, they must take steps to avoid any future collisions and ensure that the other boat’s passengers are safe.

Drunk Driving

The United States Coast Guard publishes a yearly report highlighting boating accident statistics. According to this report, alcohol is the primary contributor to 19 percent of fatal boating accidents. It is estimated that alcohol consumption is also the leading cause of serious boating accidents. The report also captures the number of injuries caused by alcohol-related boating accidents. 

Boating accidents are not limited to drunk drivers. The best way to safeguard both you and others around you is to refrain from drinking if you intend to be on the water and to forbid those around you from doing the same. Drinking should be approached similarly to drinking and driving; if you intend to consume alcohol, you should have a designated driver (or in this case, designated boater) who is in charge of keeping everyone safe and at least one sober person who can assist the designated boater in keeping an eye on the water.

Inattentiveness of the Boat Operator

The inattentiveness of the operator causes most boating accidents. Inattentiveness can result from being distracted by something onboard or on the water. It can also be a result of the inexperience of the boat operator. Operators should remember that their priority on the water is staying safe. 

Boating accidents can happen anywhere and often occur when a boat operator is not paying attention. Inattentiveness is a major cause of accidents in both recreational and commercial boating. The Coast Guard estimates that boating accidents happen nearly every day. Unfortunately, around ten percent of them are fatal. Some of the best boating tips include following basic rules of operation, knowing how to deal with emergencies, and practicing safe operation. In addition, it’s important to remain attentive while driving. While most waterways have speed limits, driving your boat too fast can cause an accident.

Lack of Boating Safety Education

In 2013 alone, 560 people lost their lives in recreational boating accidents. Another 2,620 were injured. Of those, 49 were youth ages 0-19. The number of fatal boating accidents has declined since 1971, thankfully safety programs increase awareness of safety measures and provide personal flotation devices for boaters. Nevertheless, there are still many reasons why accidents happen on the water.

Most boating accidents involve an inexperienced or inattentive boat operator. Other factors are recklessness, unsafe speed, and overcrowding. Inexperienced boaters are also the leading cause of accidents, so learning as much as possible about it is important. Unfortunately, despite all the boating safety laws and tips, many people don’t understand basic boating safety. 

Lack of Life Jackets

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a lack of life jackets accounts for 75 percent of boating accidents. According to the Coast Guard, approximately 658 people drowned during boating accidents last year. These people were not wearing life jackets, and many drowning victims were not wearing life jackets. Even though wearing life jackets is mandatory for boaters, most do not do so. It is important to remember that even if boaters are wearing a life jacket, the chances of drowning are greater than if they weren’t wearing one.

In a recent survey, researchers found that most boating accident victims were not wearing life jackets. The study’s participants also said that life jackets were uncomfortable to wear. In addition, some people thought wearing a life jacket suggested they had not experienced boaters or had limited swimming skills. Many people also said they only used life jackets when the conditions were poor. Despite these findings, some participants suggested improving life jacket design, which might lead to more frequent use of life jackets.