Boating Accident Risks

On evenings and weekends when the weather is nice, lakes all over the country fill with boats, personal watercraft, and swimmers. Going to the lake is a favorite American pastime that millions of people enjoy each year. Unfortunately, the most popular times to go to the lake are also the times when people are at the highest risk of having a boating accident. Knowing the risk factors of boating accidents can help you take preventative steps to ensure that you have a fun, accident-free day at the lake.

Risk Factors

One major mistake that people make is mixing partying with operating a vehicle, and boats are no exception. Properly operating a boat requires being attentive and able to anticipate potentially dangerous situations. It also involves dealing with fast-moving watercraft and operating heavy machinery, such as boat engines. Being inattentive or distracted while operating a boat is one of the primary risks that cause severe boating accidents. According to a report by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the most severe boating accidents usually involve:

  • Boating on a weekend
  • Boating between noon and 7 pm
  • A victim falling overboard
  • An open motorboat

Approximately 50% of boating accidents involve alcohol, causing boat operators to be slow to react to sudden obstacles and unable to make good judgments when necessary.

Safety Precautions

Whenever you decide to go boating, be sure that you or whoever is operating the boat is focused on boating and is aware of potential obstacles and dangers in the area. Following these safety precautions could help you prevent a boating accident and save lives:

  • Don’t mix boating and alcohol.
  • Avoid reckless boaters and report them immediately to the local marine unit.
  • Do not drive a boat while distracted.
  • Do not let inexperienced boaters practice in crowded waters.
  • Always follow boating laws and signs, including No Wake signs.
  • Give other watercraft and swimmers plenty of clearance.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, another boater may be liable and you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. Consider contacting a personal injury lawyer immediately to review the details of your case and receive assistance with your claim.

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