As summer approaches, Americans are looking ahead to the season full of relaxation and good times. Many will head out on the water, taking advantage of warmer temperatures to kick back and make the most of the plentiful sun. However, even on the water it is important to keep in mind that boats are fast moving, heavy machines, and can pose danger if not properly operated. It’s a good idea to keep in mind a few basic precautions to ensure that you don’t fall victim to some common boat injuries.
Amidst all the fun of being on the open water, it can be easy to forget that driving a boat is just as much a responsibility as driving any other vehicle. When everyone has the same idea, the lakes, rivers, and oceans get busy and it can be difficult to keep track of everything go on in the vicinity. Throw a few inexperienced drivers into the mix and the dangers quickly rise. Likewise, just because speed limits are not always posted does not mean it is wise to go as fast as possible, especially in machines without brakes.
According to the US Coast Guard’s 2013 Boating Statistics Report, the most common cause of injury in boating accidents were collisions with other recreational vessels. When driving a boat, it is extremely important to be aware of your surroundings and give wide berth to anybody in the water as well as other boats. Summer fun often means having a few drinks, but drinking and driving is just as dangerous in a boat as in any other vehicle. Poor decision making and impaired reflexes can lead to dangerous ends.
Some of the other most common boating injuries include skier mishaps, collisions with stationary objects, and groundings. Indeed, other contributing factors in accidents listed in the report were, drivers not paying attention, lack of driving experience, and speeding. Unfortunately, the most common cause of death in boating is drowning. The good news is that most drownings may have been avoidable. In fact, in 84% of drownings in 2013 the victims were not wearing a life jacket. The simple act of wearing a life jacket could save a life.
If you or a loved one were injured in a boating accident, call Oldham & Smith now at (352) 292-1620 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, or contact us now at our website.