Regardless of the time of year, it is important to be aware of some of the top causes of boating accidents in the United States. With this, it is always a good idea to check your safety equipment before heading out on the beautiful Oklahoma waters. The fun and excitement of taking your boat out on the waters can quickly be squashed if you don’t keep safety in mind and fail to adhere to proper water and boat safety regulations. All boat owners should understand that the joy of owning a boat and spending long days on Oklahoma’s many lakes or rivers comes with the risk of serious injury and even death.
At Atkins & Markoff, our attorneys have experience representing individuals in accidents involving all types of vessels, including speed boats, sailboats, yachts, and motor boats. Regardless of the type of watercraft you own, be sure you are aware of some of the most common causes for boating accidents. If you have been injured or involved in a boating accident, please contact our Oklahoma law firm today so we can help guide you through the legal process.
Common Reasons for Boating Accidents
Boating accidents occur for numerous reasons, some of which are unavoidable and others that could have been avoided. Being aware of some of the following causes of boat accidents, as well as keeping in mind proper water safety tips, will help reduce your chances of being involved in an accident out on the water. Here is a list of some of the most common causes of boating accidents:
● Operator Distraction. This is the #2 cause for boating fatalities. As a boat operator, it is extremely important that you stay attentive at all times and know your surroundings. It is extremely easy to become distracted while boating, which is why taking on the job of boat operator is a serious position that should be done with care.
● Operator Inexperience. Similar to operator distraction, operator inexperience is one of (if not the #1) cause of boating accidents. Taking steps to learn boating laws and regulations, navigation rules, and water safety tips is a great way to build your confidence when out on the water and keep those in your boat safe.
● Excessive Speed. One of the leading causes of boat accidents is excessive speed, something that is all-too easy when operating a boat on the open waters. However, it is crucial to maintain a safe speed and use careful judgement when deciding to go faster on certain types of water.
● Machinery Failure. Keeping up with the maintenance of a boat is a huge part of ownership responsibility. If a boat is not checked over on a regular basis, this could cause machinery failure and be extremely dangerous.
● Alcohol Use. Alcohol-related accidents are the #1 cause of fatal boating accidents. As a boat operator, you must obey the same laws as a driver behind the wheel of a car. However, this does not always happen and the lives of your boat passengers and fellow boaters are endangered. If you have had too many drinks, designate another operator before it’s too late.
Keep in mind that the majority of boating accidents occur as a result of a combination of the factors listed above. Taking steps to educate yourself about some of the dangers of boating as well as what you can do to make the experience safer for you, your passengers, and your fellow boaters is a great way to ensure everyone has a fun, enjoyable experience each time you take your boat out.