As the summer season approaches, more and more Virginians are preparing to head out on local waterways for boating fun. Before you embark on your next boating adventure, get informed on the common causes of boating accidents to ensure your summer is a safe one.
Top Causes of Boating Accidents
Boating accidents occur for a variety of reasons, with the most common being operator inattention or inexperience. Review the top causes of boating accidents to stay safe on the waterways.
Top causes of boating accidents include:
Boating under the influence. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol was the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in 2017, and among the top five in reported accidents overall.
Falling overboard. 68% of boating accident deaths are caused by drowning, and 80% of those who drown are not wearing a life jacket. Virginia law requires there be one life jacket on board for each passenger. If they are not being worn, they must be “readily accessible.”
Speeding. Each state has designated speeds at which watercraft may travel. Exceeding the speed limit is incredibly dangerous, as unseen objects may be lying out of sight below the water’s surface. Maintaining a safe speed makes it easier to spot these obstacles.
Ignoring weather conditions. Check local weather forecasts before heading out on the water, and refrain from embarking if poor weather is predicted. If the weather suddenly becomes poor while you’re underway, return to shore in as safe a manner as possible.
Injured in a Boating Accident? Contact Us Today
Boating can be a fun summertime activity, but when boaters do not operate their vessels safely, accidents and injuries are likely to happen. If you have been injured by an irresponsible boat operator, our team of boat accident attorneys can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Don’t let negligent boaters get away with their actions. Contact Huffman & Huffman, PLLC at (757) 330-3425 for a free consultation today.