When you are involved in a boating accident, there can be serious injuries and damages that affect you for a lifetime. Like a car accident, the vehicles involved are large and can be very dangerous. The injuries that result from an accident can be serious and may require heavy medical attention. There are plenty of potential causes for an accident, ranging from operator error to issues with the oceans. The three most common causes of boating accidents are negligence, nature, and inexperience.
Negligence and inattention are serious problems when it comes to boating since the slightest mistake could lead to serious damages. Boat operators are expected to make sure that the weather is safe before making a trip. However, unpredictable winds and waves could still lead to danger for unaware operators. For many boats, it helps to have a lookout helping make sure that any incoming hazards are spotted. Without an extra pair of eyes looking out, danger can easily sneak up on a boat. These include other boats and the wakes they cause, especially if they do not follow common boat etiquette.
Another form of negligence is ignoring the designated speed limits for waterways which can limit reaction times and leads to accidents. This is worse when alcohol is involved which only impairs an operator’s judgment and reaction speed further. However, one of the worst forms of negligence comes from a lack of equipment maintenance. When a boat is not properly taken care of, any number of the boat’s systems can malfunction ranging from the rotor to the steering wheel.
Natural obstacles and problems can suddenly become an issue in minutes leading to torrential winds and powerful waves battering a boat. The waters beneath a boat can quickly change to become rapidly moving currents or tidal flows that pull a boat off in different directions. Rough waters are often marked so operators need to be mindful of any signs marking the dangerous areas. This is not to mention the dangers of changing weather.
When someone driving a boat fails to check the weather first, this is both irresponsible and dangerous. A sunny day may seem like a great day for boating but the forecast could predict torrential weather further down the line. Underwater hazards may also be covered by moving waves with rocks and small landmasses capable of severely damaging a boat.
The other two causes can be avoided with careful planning and reacting accordingly to an issue, but any action can be made mute with inexperience. If an operator has no idea what they are doing, then that just makes it more likely that they will not be able to react to any hazards in time. All boat operators should know the basics of boating including laws, navigating, and basic responses to different scenarios. Negligence plays a part too since many inexperienced operators can easily forget important safety equipment like vests, flares, and emergency supplies. Sadly, inexperience is a common cause of accidents since boating licenses do not actually require someone to handle a boat beforehand. Aside from a few basic rules, practically anyone can get a boating license quickly and easily putting more inexperienced operators out on the water.
If an accident were to happen, it becomes a top priority for anyone injured in the accident to make sure they have legal representation. Any number of injuries or damages could occur which may affect a person for life. Lawyers Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman can help you understand your case and work with you on your next steps.