Personal Injury Blog

Main Causes of Boating Accidents

What are the Main Causes of Boating Accidents?

Summer is in full swing, and many New Jersey residents enjoy outings on the lakes and beaches that span the state. However, a day on the water should not be taken lightly, as accidents may happen in an instant and lead to tragic consequences. Following are a few of the most common causes of boating accidents and what you may do to prevent them.

In one report from 2014, it was discovered that the number one cause of boating accidents was a failure to pay attention. If you are operating a boat, you must pay attention at all times. You should not use a cell phone, talk to others on the boat, or engage in other types of behavior—your focus should be on your surroundings.

Similarly, improper lookout trailed closely behind failing to pay attention as another top cause of boating accidents. As a boater, you must look out (and listen out) for possible hazards, such as power lines, swimmers, logs, and so on.

Operator inexperience was another major cause of boating accidents. Just as it takes a while to become comfortable and skilled at driving a car, it takes many outings before a boater gains the experience needed to operate a boat in various types of conditions. To operate a motorized boat in the state of New Jersey, you must take and pass an online education course and obtain a boating license. Only those with significant experience boating should operate a boat.

Excessive speed is also a major contributor to boating accidents. Though many boaters love the thrill of flying down a lake or bay, the faster they go, the more likely it is that a serious accident could happen. It is difficult to quickly bring boats to a complete stop, and if a boat collides with another boat, swimmer, or dock, the results may be deadly.

As for fatal accidents, alcohol is the most commonly cited culprit of these crashes. It may be tempting to have a few beers on the boat and explore the water, but only those who have not been drinking should operate a boat, especially in the summertime when the sun may intensify the effects of alcohol.

In the majority—78 percent—of the fatal accidents, drowning was the cause of death. However, 84 percent of these victims were not wearing a life jacket. Though New Jersey does not require the use of life jackets in every boating situation (except for children 12 years of age or younger), it is best to always wear a life jacket while boating. If you fall out of the boat and are knocked unconscious, a life jacket may save your life.

If you have been involved in a boating accident, call Leonard Legal Group today

At Leonard Legal Group, our New Jersey injury attorneys are experienced in boat accident claims and hold negligent boaters accountable when they cause serious injuries. To schedule a free consultation with our leading injury legal team, call 973-984-1414 or visit us online.