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The Top Five Causes of Boating Accidents

Boating is a popular summer pastime for people all around the country. Even here in Texas, people enjoy heading out to the gulf coast or even to their local lake where they can drop their craft into the water and head out for an enjoyable day of floating. However, boating isn’t always the safest of activities—in fact, in the year 2014 alone, more than 4,000 boating accidents were registered, resulting in over 600 deaths and over 2,500 injuries. That means all boat owners and operators have the shared responsibility to drive safely and avoid some of the most common causes of boating accidents. Here is a brief look at the top five of them.

#5 - Impaired Operation: Those who have a license to drive know how dangerous driving while intoxicated on alcohol can be. However, the same risk applies to operating a boat. Bringing a cooler filled with your favorite beverages on a boating trip may make for an afternoon of fun, but make sure you don’t drink too much. You could find yourself involved in a serious accident, or worse, getting a DUI (the legal BAC limit is the same for driving a car: .08 percent).

#4 – Speeding: Opening up your boat’s engine and skimming along the surface of the water may be an awesome experience but it’s important to make sure you stay at a safe pace. Boats that speed have a much higher risk of colliding with other craft while out on the water, resulting in serious injuries and major property damage. Keep in mind your boat isn’t as maneuverable as your car is on land.

#3 – Inexperienced Operators: Teenagers are typically the most prone to being involved in car accidents because they lack the experience to know how to handle emergency situations that may arise while on the roads. The same rules apply for boaters: operators who are new to piloting their craft can make mistakes that result in accidents and potentially serious injuries.

#2 – Improper Lookouts: Because most boats are driven from close to the rear of the craft, it’s important to make sure there is someone out towards the front who’s keeping an eye out for potential hazards that might be in the way. Not having the proper lookout over the front could result in an unexpected collision, and ensuing injuries.

#1 – Operator Inattention: Similar to car accidents, the vast majority of boating accidents happen purely because of a lapse in driver attention. Boat operators need to stay vigilant at all times to know what’s going on around them and avoid any possible hazards, especially in unpredictable conditions like what an operator might face at sea.

If you are injured in a boating accident this summer, speak with a Midland auto accident attorney at the Dean Law Firm! Call us today at (432) 214-8125 for a free initial consultation.