Summer is a favorite season for many, and for good reason. From the beautiful weather to the abundance of outdoor activities, picnics, and everything in-between, it is easy to see why we count down the days until summer. However, summer is also the time of year when we see a rise in the number of boating accidents. Whether you are taking a trip to a local lake, river, or other body of water with a boat, it is absolutely imperative that safety is top priority. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Recreational boating accidents happen more often than you may think, and are often the result of distracted driving or boating under the influence of alcohol. While some boating accidents are minor in nature, many result in drowning or serious, life-changing injuries.
Due to the serious nature of boating accidents, the recovery period can be long and arduous. While each individual will likely have a different experience in the days, weeks, and months following a boating accident, medical bills, physical pain, and emotional trauma are typical. In order to prevent boating accidents from happening, it is of the utmost importance that everyone involved in a boating adventure takes the time to understand the nautical “rules of the road”. Boating education is the number one way to prevent these types of accidents, however, not all states require boating instruction for those operating a watercraft. Because summer months are when we frequently see boating incidents take place in Oklahoma and throughout the rest of the nation, we thought it would be a good time to go over some of the most common causes of these types of accidents. By educating yourself and those around you about why boating incidents occur, we will be on the right path to preventing them.
Top Causes of Boating Accidents
There are many different reasons why boating accidents can take place, from the various elements of nature to operator error. Here is a look at a few of the top reasons why we see boating accidents occur in the summer:
- Distracted Operator – Boat operators should stay vigilant and constantly monitor their boat, the weather, boat occupants, and any unsafe conditions at all times. When they fail to pay attention or are distracted, accidents are more likely to occur.
- Inexperience – According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the third most common cause of boating accidents is operator inexperience. This is why it is crucial that those manning a boat take the time to learn the basics of boating and navigation, as well as how to handle emergency situations.
- Excessive Speed – Another leading cause of boating accidents is speeding. Just like with cars on the roadway, it is important that boat operators navigate the waterways at a safe speed.
- Operator Impairment – While a favorite summer pastime of many is to have a few alcoholic beverages while enjoying the beautiful water and weather on a boat, this is one of the top causes of boating accidents. In fact, alcohol or drug use is a major factor in boat accidents that result in death or serious injuries.
- Equipment Failure – In order to ensure the safety of you and all boat occupants, it is important that you properly maintain your boat. The boat operator is responsible for all maintenance needs, as this will help prevent any type of equipment failure.
If you have been involved in a boating accident in Oklahoma, please contact Atkins & Markoff today. Our personal injury lawyers will walk through your case with you and make sure justice is served. And remember, when it comes to boating, safety should always come first.