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The Primary Causes of Boat Accidents

By Norman Younker on July 28, 2015


Young people on two boatsSummer is a great time for swimming, water sports, and, of course, boating. Here in Salt Lake City, we have access to several beautiful bodies of water just a short drive away. However, in some cases, a fun weekend getaway can turn tragic. Boat accidents occur for a number of reasons, and they are usually preventable. Whatever the cause of the incidents, they can have serious and even tragic effects. In fact, boat accidents can often result in fatalities because of the high risk for drowning. If you or a loved one has been involved in a boating accident, our attorneys will fight for the justice you deserve. Compensation call help you cover the steep medical or property damage bills that you now face.

Types of Boat Accidents

Each year, the US Coast Guard compiles a comprehensive review of recreational boating accident statistics. According to their 2014 data, the most common types of boating accidents are:

  • Collision with another boat or recreational vehicle (937 accidents, 652 injuries, 40 fatalities)
  • Flooding (463 incidents, 139 injuries, 70 fatalities)
  • Crashing with a fixed object (452 accidents, 355 injuries, 51 deaths)
  • Grounding (359 accidents, 235 injuries, 13 deaths)
  • Water skier accidents (292 incidents, 305 injuries, 5 deaths)
  • Most of the fatalities were due to drowning, though others were victims of cardiac arrest, trauma, and hypothermia.

Most Common Reasons for Boat Accidents

Sadly, most boating accidents are the result of negligence or reckless behavior. Additional Coast Guard statistics show that the top reasons for boat accidents were:

  • A boat operator who was not paying attention
  • Improper or insufficient lookout
  • An inexperienced boat operator
  • Speeding
  • Drinking while operating a boat
  • Failure to adhere to navigation rules
  • Rough waters
  • Weather conditions
  • High waves or wake

How You Can Prevent Boat Accidents, Injuries, and Fatalities

Despite the statistics, there is no reason to avoid boating. However, if you are going to enjoy this activity, it is vital that you exercise caution and prudence. First, always choose an experienced operator. Additionally, it is important to remember that everyone on a boat is responsible for its safety. Distracting behavior and disregard of established rules can put everyone at risk. Of course, boat operators should never control a vessel under the influence of alcohol. Drinking and boating can be just as deadly as drunk driving.

One of the best ways to protect yourself while on a boat is to wear a life jacket. Of the 418 drowning victims last year, 337 of them were not wearing these devices. Though wearing a life jacket will not prevent accidents, it will increase your chances of survival exponentially, should a serious event occur.

What to Do If You Were In a Boat Accident

If you were involved in a boat accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. This money can cover medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and related expenses. For over 90 years, our firm has been a trusted resource for clients in need of personal injury attorneys. We will investigate every circumstance of your accident, including weather conditions, speed, the physics of the collision, and the physical state of the vessel. After determining liability, we will fight tirelessly to obtain the financial assistance that you deserve.

Contact Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

Do not let a boating accident become a source of major financial worry. Contact our firm today for a consultation.

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