Boating accidents are a serious issue that can cause physical injury and even death. The team at Strong-Garner-Bauer P.C. discusses common causes of boating accidents and provides several tips on staying safe on Missouri waterways this summer.
By the Numbers
According to a news release by the United States Coast Guard, the following statistics were reported:
- Alcohol is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in 2021, accounting for 16% of total fatalities.
- Where the cause of death was known, 81% of fatal boating accident victims drowned.
- The most common vessel types involved in reported accidents were open motorboats, personal watercraft, and cabin motorboats.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
Boating accidents are often caused by negligence or carelessness on the part of the boat operator. Common causes of boating accidents include:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Operating without a valid license
- Lack of safety equipment
- Inattentive behavior while operating the boat
It’s also important to note that many boats are not equipped with basic safety features such as life jackets or fire extinguishers, which can make an already dangerous situation even worse.
In addition to the above-mentioned factors, weather conditions can play a role in causing boating accidents. High winds, heavy rain, and fog can all reduce visibility and make it difficult for boat operators to see where they are going. Strong currents can make it difficult for inexperienced operators to maneuver their vessels safely.
Safety Tips for Missouri Waterways this Summer
To stay safe on Missouri waterways this summer, there are several things that you should keep in mind:
Before Hitting the Water
- Stay up-to-date on boating safety
- Become familiar with local laws regarding navigation
- Check the weather conditions for the time you are expecting to be on the water
- Check your vessel for mechanical issues
- Ensure all passengers have sufficient life jackets
- Ensure your vessel is properly equipped with basic safety features such as fire extinguishers and navigation lights
While on the Water
- Always wear life jackets when out on open waters
- Never operate a boat while intoxicated
- Avoid navigating through heavily trafficked areas
- Only operate vessels that you have experience with
- Avoid speeding as it reduces reaction time should an emergency arise while out on open waters
Recommendations from the Coast Guard:
“In addition to wearing a life jacket and taking a boating safety course, the Coast Guard recommends all boaters attach the engine cut-off switch, get a free vessel safety check, and boat sober.”
Boating accidents are serious incidents that often result in physical injury or death due to negligence or carelessness while operating a vessel. Following these safety tips will help ensure you do your part to make this summer both enjoyable and incident-free!
Missouri Boat Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you know has been injured in a boating accident due to another person’s actions, it’s important to take legal action as soon as possible so that victims receive proper compensation for their medical bills and other related expenses stemming from an accident.