Common Boating Accident Causes & How to Stay Safe This Summer

Summer break and vacation are great opportunities for traveling with family and spending time together. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when people suffer injury from some of those adventures. Boating accidents are common, and even when you safely navigate the waters, it doesn’t protect you from the negligence of others. Find some of the most common boating accident causes and stay safe this summer with these tips.

What Causes Boating Accidents?

Last month saw a major boating accident in Branson, where 17 people died in a tragic accident on Table Rock Lake. Bad weather seems to be the most likely culprit in an accident that killed nearly all members of a family who were out on the lake. Authorities report that the boat had safety jackets, but many of the victims were not wearing them.

Inclement weather is a leading cause of boating accidents, and dangerous conditions are likely to cause risk and danger to boaters at any time. Rainstorms and weather systems can create conditions more likely to damage or capsize boats. Wind and rain may also make it harder for overturned boaters to be able to make it to shore and survive in the case of an accident, even with the proper safety equipment.

Boat defects and dangers are also common causes of death or injury. Carbon monoxide poisoning, for example, is a common risk for boat injuries. Manufacturer defects may not be obvious for a boat until an accident occurs, and this may cause a tragic incident without boaters ever being aware of the cause.

Finally, much like motorways, boating accidents can occur as a result of boat collisions. Inexperienced boaters, or those who are operating a boat under the influence of alcohol, are one of the leading causes of incidents and danger. Boating requires certification and licensing, but negligence can still occur – particularly when someone is not obeying the law or is drinking while out on the water.

Tips for Staying Safe During the Summer

The Missouri Highway Patrol has several requirements for boater safety, including what a safe boat must have at all times. All boats must have safety equipment, including safety vests of the proper size for everyone on a boat. Boaters under the age of seven must always be wearing safety jackets while on the water.

Before heading out to a lake or river, always monitor the recent weather reports and condition reports for the park or venue where you are going to boat. Avoid going out on the water during inclement conditions, as it is possible for a storm to come on quickly and cause damage, often before safety officials can reach your boat.

Never operate a boat under the influence of alcohol. Much like driving a car, operating a boat requires attention and awareness of safety precautions. Collisions are far more likely to occur under the influence of drugs and alcohol – and damages resulting from this incident may be eligible for compensation, especially in cases involving injury or death.

Keep your boat maintained regularly. A boat with broken or defective parts is more likely to have accidents or incidents occur, and maintaining a boat is necessary to keep it safe and reliable, particularly when boats have been sitting unused throughout the winter.

What to Do After a Boating Accident

Boating injuries can be just as catastrophic as those people suffer in cars. Be sure to keep your family safe this summer by considering these safety tips. If someone in your life has suffered an injury after a boating accident, talk with a Kansas City personal injury attorney for your next steps.