Common Causes of Boating Accidents & Important Safety Tips
According to the California Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW), there were nearly 600 boating accidents in 2016, which resulted in more than $3 million in property damage, 50 deaths, and more than 260 injuries. Recreational boating is a popular way to enjoy the summer weather, but you need to take steps to increase your safety and prevent a boating accident.
The most common causes of boating accidents include:
- Boat operator inexperience
- Poor weather conditions
- Boating under the influence of alcohol
- Equipment malfunctions
- Boat operator inattention
- Failing to follow boating navigational rules
Boat operators must have a clear knowledge of boating rules, such as proper speed limits, and they must know how to properly navigate crowded waters. The U.S. Coast Guard offers safety courses that boat operators can take to understand boating safety procedures and navigational rules. Passengers, boat operators, and those in other boats could suffer serious injuries in a collision, including traumatic brain injuries, partial or complete paralysis, lacerations, internal organ damage, bruises, brain damage, and other trauma.
Tips for Staying Safe While Boating
1. Prepare Beforehand
Before you head out on a boating excursion, check the weather. If there are storms in the forecast, it is best to wait until a clear day. Sudden storms and strong wind can put you at risk for capsizing. Furthermore, you should provide adequate maintenance for your craft. You need to ensure all components are in proper working condition. The boat should also be stocked with necessary supplies, such as a first aid kit, flotation devices, and a fire extinguisher.
2. Exercise Caution on the Water
While on the water, it is important to obey all boating and navigational rules, and to maintain a safe and legal speed. The boat operator must also avoid drinking alcohol. While it may be tempting to enjoy a few drinks with friends, boating under the influence is strictly outlawed, and even a couple drinks could impair your ability to operate the boat safely. You also always need to avoid distractions and stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
3. Follow Safety Guidelines
It is necessary for every person to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket, even adults. If someone falls into the water, a life jacket could help prevent a drowning accident. Obeying all boating rules and following safety protocols is also important. Being prepared, exercising caution, and practicing safe boating habits can help prevent a serious accident.
Seeking Justice for You
The Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser provides aggressive legal services to injured clients. If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident, we can work diligently to help you seek justice. Negligent boat operators or owners must be held responsible. We can work tirelessly to build your case and help you seek the highest amount of compensation available.
Contact the Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser onlineor by phone at (661) 441-3446 today for a free consultation if you or your loved ones have been injured in a boating accident.