Spending a lazy summer afternoon partying on the water, bay or ocean is great fun for everyone. The sun on your face, the wind in your hair, and the open water in front of you, what better way is there to spend a day? However, have you undergone the correct operator training to avoid boat accidents?
Statistics published by the U.S. Coast Guard, show that in 2016, there were 701 deaths, 2,903 injuries and approximately $49 million in property damage as a result of 4,463 recreational boating accidents.
A boating accident could happen to anyone. It’s important to be aware of the most common reasons for these occurrences, so you can plan to prevent them. Here are the seven most common reasons for boating accidents as seen by Miami personal injury lawyers.
- Unlicensed and Inexperienced Operators
Operator failure is one of the most common accidents seen by a Miami boat accident attorney. Boat captains need training in operating their vehicle and safety measures for passengers. Haphazardly trying to learn to operate a piece of advanced machinery such as a boat can create a dangerous situation for captain and passengers. Inexperienced operators lack the knowledge needed to react in dangerous circumstances, making them more predisposed to a boating accident.
- Inattentive Operators
Distractions on the open water are the leading cause of operator malfunction and boating accidents. Captains should keep their eyes on the water at all times. Looking at your phone, chatting with friends, or eating and drinking can create a precarious situation that leads to an accident.
- Machinery Failure
Boats require regular maintenance, just like your car. If you fail to maintain your boat, you can expect a mechanical failure sometime in the future. Steering loss, motor malfunction, and a sticky throttle are all maintenance issues that could result in a boating accident. Make sure that you service your boat and its motors regularly according to the maintenance schedule. Find tips for cleaning your boat after you remove it from the water to keep it in pristine condition.
- Excessive Speed
The road isn’t the only surface where speeding is illegal. Boating laws govern the operating procedure and rules for boats on the open water. Speeding has the same effect on water as it does on land; it costs lives. Keep your hand off the throttle and be responsible for the sake of your passengers. If you experience injury due to a boating accident where the operator was speeding, you deserve compensation for any unpaid medical bills and loss of income. Contact a Miami personal injury lawyer to pursue a case against the captain and receive compensation for the accident.
- Alcohol Use
Drinking and driving is a criminal offense, on both the land and the water. While this is only the fifth leading cause of boating accidents, it’s still responsible for 12% of the total deaths attributed to boating. If you are involved in a drunk-boating crash, speak to a boat accident lawyer in Miami about how you can take legal action against the intoxicated operator.
- Improper Lookout
Responsible for 475 deaths in 2016, failure to see imminent threats in the water is a leading cause of boating accidents. Keep an eye out for floating debris and sunken hazards.
- The Weather
Sometimes mother nature doesn’t play along with your boating plans. If in doubt, don’t go out. Staying onshore could save you from being caught in a storm that could sink your boat and endanger your passengers.
What to do if Involved in a Boating Accident
If you are the victim of reckless operator neglect that resulted in a boating accident, you have recourse against them just as you would in a car accident. Talk to our personal injury attorney in Miami that will review your case and help you get compensation.
We handle a variety of cases, so call us now if you have any questions.
View more contact information here: Miami Boat Accident Attorney.