United States (U.S.) Coast Guard recreational boating statistics show that the most common reasons boating accidents occurred in 2018 were operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, machinery failure, and excessive speed.
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Operator Negligence Causes Many Boating Accidents
Almost all causes of boating accidents except for bad weather and manufacturing defects can be related in some way to operator negligence. Even in the cases of bad weather and manufacturing defects, a boating operator may have had the responsibility to check the weather or their own equipment to make sure it was safe to be on the waterways. Many boating accidents happen due to reasons that preventable. If you were injured due to a boating accident, it was likely due to operator inattention, inexperience, or some other form of negligent behavior.
Boater Education Courses Can Spread Awareness
Most people believe that operating a boat is much simpler than driving a car and become more relaxed regarding safety rules and regulations. To the contrary, there are very strict state and federal laws that apply to the operation of a boat or vessel that help boaters stay safe on the waterways.
Taking a boating safety course can help boating operators understand all of the applicable state and federal laws and learn how to handle emergency situations. Taking time to intentionally learn about boating safety may help reduce many of the common causes of boating accidents such as operator inattention, speeding, improper lookout, and other accidents due to inexperience.
Boater education courses can also help boating operators understand why boating accidents happen and the safety requirements needed in case there is an accident on the water. Taking a boater education course may allow a boating operator to save money on their insurance.
Educate Yourself on Safety Requirements
As the owner of a boat, you should always make sure that your vessel has boating safety equipment and be prepared for any type of boating accident. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, depending on the length of your boat, you may want to make sure that you have the following items on your boat. You may also want to make sure that these items are as accessible as possible, and that these devices are always in good, working order.
- Lifejackets for every person on board
- Throwable personal flotation device
- Visual distress signals dated within the last 3 years (three for day use, and three for night use)
- Fire extinguishers
- Ventilation if your boat uses gasoline for propulsion, power or electrical generation
- Backfire flame control
- Sound-producing devices such as a whistle, bell or an electric air horn
- Navigation lights
While not required, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) may be “eligible to receive a registration fee reduction during an original or renewal vessel registration transaction.” Consider investing in some type of EPIRB as an extra insurance policy for you and your guests.
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Contact a Boating Accident Attorney Today
Boating accidents happen for many reasons, but they shouldn’t be due to the negligence of a boating operator. If you were involved in a boating accident and suffered injuries of any kind, you should seek immediate medical attention. Contact a boating accident attorney that specializes in personal injury law at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 to help you determine your next steps, and help you receive the compensation you deserve for your losses.