The Top Six Causes of Boating Accidents
Baytown Boat Accident Attorneys Explain Common Causes
In Texas, millions of people spend time enjoying lakes and beaches during spring and summer. However, there are also instances each year where people are killed or seriously injured while boating. U.S. Coast Guard statistics show there were 170 boating accidents in 2017, 51 of which were fatal. Each year, the Coast Guard releases data on boating accidents from the previous year. Data for 2018 is not available yet.
Coast Guard data also shows that boating accidents occur for multiple reasons. Causes of boating accidents may include:
- Alcohol. Federal data shows that alcohol is a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal boating accidents. Some of these instances may involve accidental drownings. During 2017, alcohol was a contributing cause of 10 boating accident deaths.
- Operator error. Mistakes while operating a boat can also lead to serious accidents. Common operator error mistakes include getting lost in poor lighting conditions (night or bad weather), speeding and navigational errors.
- Inattention. It is important to pay attention to your surroundings while boating, otherwise the risk of causing an accident increases. Rocks, other watercraft, swimmers and weather conditions can quickly lead to a fatal boating accident. Operator inattention is one of the leading causes, perhaps the leading cause, of boating accidents nationwide.
- Environmental causes. Bodies of water can be a dangerous place in general, and it is no surprise that environmental factors cause many accidents. Rocks, intense waves and bad weather can easily kill unprepared boat operators and their passengers. Inexperienced operators are even more likely to run into trouble, as they may not have the necessary information to avoid these hazards.
- Equipment failure. Like most vehicles, boats require regular maintenance. Moving parts on boats may fail without regular checkups and repairs. Product defects can also lead to death or serious injury. The Coast Guard lists machine failure as a cause of boating accidents.
- Lack of preparation. You should always be prepared if you are going to be working or enjoying recreational activities on a boat. Life vests, flares, medical supplies, water and sound-producing devices are a few of many safety items to bring on a boat. Some of these prevent accidental drownings and can help if you become lost.
Seeking Help During a Boating Accident
Boating accidents do not necessarily involve collisions with other boats or objects. Drowning is also a common reason for deaths while boating.
You should always seek immediate medical attention following a boating accident or drowning. Always contact the authorities for help right away, as every second counts for certain types of accidents. Law enforcement officers, medical professionals and members of the Coast Guard have the training to help injured boaters and passengers.
Filing a Boating Accident Lawsuit
You should also contact an attorney if you believe negligent or reckless actions caused your accident. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to recover compensation that can help you pay for expenses associated with death or serious injury.
Contact Our Baytown Boat Accident Attorneys
The Law Office of Daniel D. Horowitz, III PC is a Houston personal injury law firm. Our Baytown boating accident attorneys can help you determine if you have legal options to recover compensation for your injury or loss. Call (832) 225-4902 or use our online case review form to schedule a free consultation.