Causes of Boating Accidents

Among the most popular outdoor recreational activities in America, boating is enjoyed by millions of people each year. There is nothing more relaxing on a lazy day than taking to the water. When you get yourself in the water, however, there are plenty of things that can go wrong.

The following are the most common boating accidents:

Accidental Role-station (or Out-of-View): This occurs when the recreational vehicle starts to roll while the motor is in motion. Often this results in minor injuries but it can also lead to fatalities.

Here are the main causes of accidental role-station:

Excessive Speed (or Speed Regulation): Most boating accidents involve some type of operator error. For example, it can be the result of excessive speed that exceeds the posted speed limit. Here are some other causes of speed mistakes: operating a boat with no boat seat, excessive speeding in a known area, using an inadequate number of life vests and not wearing the proper safety equipment. Many operators have the capability to slow down once they see another boat, but this is nearly never done. Another frequent reason for excessive speed is inadequate training or lack of training regarding safety regulations.

Collisions With Other Boaters: When two boaters come into contact with one another, accidents may result. These types of collisions often lead to injuries and sometimes fatalities. Typically, collision avoidance skills are employed during such encounters, but sometimes operators don’t exercise these skills or fail to follow them. Here are some causes of collisions with other boaters: Failure to properly signal, operating a boat without a boat seat, operation of a sailboat with inadequate lights or malfunctioning of an emergency exit device, operation of a sailboat in extreme wind conditions, failure to exercise proper seamanship, failure to practice basic seamanship, failure to pay attention to weather conditions, and inappropriate use of oars, paddles, and slings.

Alcohol Consumption and Equipment Usage: There are many accidents involving boating accidents that have been caused by the negligence or improper use of alcohol by the vessel’s crew or passengers. Typically, alcohol is used by boaters to have a fun time on the water. Some alcohol tests determine the amount of alcohol a person has consumed, but boating accidents involving alcohol often involve boats that have not been thoroughly tested for alcohol content. When an operator or passenger consumes alcohol, there is a greater risk for him or her to have a motor vehicle accident or a boat accident. A boater who is found to be inebriated will be charged with Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI) and can face a criminal charge as well as license suspension.

The above are just some of the causes of boating accidents. However, weather and other natural factors also play a role in these occurrences. It is recommended that boat operators take the necessary steps to keep their operators and their boats safe from adverse weather conditions, such as bad weather, fog, and storms. Boaters who take the necessary precautions can dramatically reduce the chances of having an accident in such weather conditions.