7 Most Common Causes of Boat Accident Injuries and Fatalities

From the first explorers that set sail in the hopes of discovering a new world to the friends enjoying a sunset down the Missouri River, boating has always been an adventure about the unknown. You can, of course, go on the water alone, but the greatest satisfaction is in boating with your loved ones. However, it’s important to understand how boating accidents occur in order to keep your friends and family safe.

Most Common Boating Accidents

Although accidents have dropped down significantly since the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s, they have slowly been increasing since 2013. In 2016, 701 people were killed in boating accidents in the United States and 2903 were injured in a total of 4463 accidents. Below are the 7 most common causes of boat accident injuries and deaths:

  1. Operator inattention: In 2016, lack of attention was the primary contributing factor of boating accidents. Just like in a car, an operator must stay vigilant and constantly monitor their surroundings in a boat. Conditions at sea can be unpredictable, so one quick glance at a phone or a friend can result in an accident.
  2. Operator inexperience: An operator must understand the basics and rules of navigation, such as speed limits, weather, and emergency plans.
  3. Improper lookout: There are many distractions on the water, which is why every vessel operator should assign another person on board to act as a lookout.
  4. Excessive speed: All boats should be operated at a speed that allows an operator the time and distance to take action to avoid an accident. Speed should be determined by weather, visibility conditions, traffic and hazards.
  5. Machinery failure: A boat that isn’t properly maintained has a higher probability of malfunctioning, which can result in serious injuries or death. It is the responsibility of the boat owner to keep the boat in good condition.
  6. Alcohol use: Drug and alcohol use impairs your vision and judgement, making it more difficult to properly maneuver a boat. The legal limit for BAC is .08% in Nebraska.
  7. Weather: Checking out weather conditions is a must before getting behind the wheel of a boat. Furious winds and choppy water can strike at any second, and it’s better to be prepared than not.

We understand how tough a boating accident can be on you and your family. If you have been involved in a maritime accident, contact our Omaha personal injury attorneys at Carlson & Burnett today. We can help you get the compensation you need and deserve.

Call (402) 810-8611 or contact us online.


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