While the benefits of boat travel are plenty, there are some risks involved in boating that operators should consider before hopping into their boats and starting on their adventures. Here are reasons why boating accidents may occur during boat travel.
1. Lack of Experience and Training
A lack of experience and training commonly causes boating accidents. Experience and proper training come in handy whether in the boat, on the dock, or in the water. Well-trained operators are always aware of what is happening around them to avoid any mishaps that could occur at any time. Experienced boaters know the Common Causes of Boating Accidents and can follow safety precautions and guidelines when operating a boat. The risk of an accident increases when you don’t have what it takes to be behind the wheel.
2. Use of Alcohol or Drugs
Alcohol or drugs can impair judgment and make it difficult to react quickly. As a result, you may fail to notice an object in the water or nearby shoreline, which can lead to injury or death. Plus, alcohol also impairs muscle coordination and reaction time, making you less able to handle the boat.
It is essential to know that when operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you put yourself and those on board with you at risk. When you’re sober, you can comfortably handle safety precautions. It’s, therefore, crucial to remain sober while you operate the boat. However, if you find yourself in need of assistance, do not hesitate to call for help!
3. Speeding and Reckless Behavior
Speeding affects the safety of those around you. Speed above a safe limit can lead to boating accidents due to its effects on your control over your boat. Speeding is a factor that most boaters neglect when out enjoying their hobby, but it could very well be one of the reasons why accidents happen in these situations.
Boaters should always be aware of how fast they are going and how close to the shoreline or other boats they are. Your speed may depend on several factors, such as;
- Safety of the waters
- Weather conditions
- The size of your boat
- Vicinity of other vessels
- Your ability to maneuver
- The maintenance of the boat
4. Distracted Piloting
Operator inattention is a significant cause of boating accidents. The operator should keep their eyes on the water and not be distracted by other factors like cell phones, radios, or animals on the shore. If there is no one to help keep a sharp watch, then an operator must always have their eyes on the water.
Often, a watchful operator will notice something about the water before anyone else does; for example, if they see a log floating near them, other nearby vessels, and even submerged hazards such as rocks. When boaters are looking out for potential risks, this can minimize the chance of a collision.
5. Outdated Equipment and Mechanical Failure
Boat accidents can occur due to system and mechanical failures, such as a malfunctioning steering mechanism or an engine that cuts out. Outdated equipment is another common cause of boating accidents, and in cases where the boat is not properly maintained, it may be challenging to get the vessel back on course. When the water gets rough, waves can easily cause a poorly maintained boat to capsize or overturn.
In other instances, structural defects in the boat’s hull can lead to flooding, making it impossible for those aboard to stay afloat, so they succumb quickly. It’s, therefore, crucial to maintain your boat and check your boat’s condition before setting sail. Even a minor defect can be disastrous when traveling at high speeds on choppy waters.
Boating safety is vital for anyone driving or traveling on a boat. When going out on a vessel, it is essential to have the proper safety equipment for all situations. These items, from life jackets to flares, will help in an emergency. To avoid boating accidents, minimizing distractions while on the boat is essential. Whether using your smartphone or watching a movie, these activities can take away from paying attention to the water and your surroundings. Having an experienced person to help you watch out for any dangers that may arise during your boating adventure will give you more peace of mind. Remember that boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol dramatically increases the risk of injury. However, if you suffer injuries and damages in a boating accident due to the negligence of other operators, contact an experienced lawyer.