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Common Causes of Boating Accidents

Summer boating season is in full swing, and it's important to remember that accidents can occur if you aren't careful. There are many situations that can cause boating injuries, but some are far more common than others. Learn how to avoid injuries and stay safe by knowing the most frequent causes of boating accidents.

Distracted or inattentive operators. If you are operating a boat, you must stay vigilant and monitor your vessel, as well as your surroundings, weather, and other hazards. Conditions on the water can be difficult to predict, so it is important to be alert for early warning signs.

Lacking a proper lookout. A lookout is a crew member who serves to warn the operator of hazards. Serving as a second set of eyes, the lookout should be continuously checking the water and surroundings for potential dangers, and warning the operator of the boat.

Inexperienced crew. The crew of the boat is any individuals who participate in the operation of the boat. If the crew lacks experience, it can be easy to wind up in dangerous conditions. The crew should be well versed in boating regulations, be familiar with their vessel, and be prepared to handle any emergencies that may arise.

Speeding. Operating boats at higher speeds can result in collisions with other boats, running aground, or other accidents. Maintaining lower speeds can give you adequate time to react to situations and can prevent injuries.

Operating boats while the intoxicated. Just as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal, boating while intoxicated can also result in criminal charges. In Texas, boat operators may not have a blood alcohol content level over 0.08, which is also the legal limit for automobile drivers.

Equipment failure. At best, equipment failure can leave you floating while repairs are made or rescue comes. At worst, these failures can result in deadly accidents. Always thoroughly inspect your vessel for damage before operation.

Breaking navigation regulations. Boat operators must follow navigation rules, just as drivers must follow traffic laws. Navigation regulations are meant to prevent accidents and manage boating traffic on the water. Failure to obey these rules can result in collisions or running aground.

Dangerous waters. Conditions on the water can change in minutes. While not all dangers can be anticipated, operators should be aware of their surroundings and able to make decisions based on what they observe. Operators should always heed weather warnings.

Large waves or strong wakes. The water can overpower small boats, and larger boats or boats traveling quickly can create wakes that can make navigation difficult for other boats. Disturbances in the water should be avoided, as well as prevented, by boaters.

Avoiding these common causes of boating accidents can help keep you safe, but not every boat operator may be as careful. If you were injured in an accident with a negligent boater, you should seek the help of our Austin personal injury attorneys at Komie & Morrow, LLP. Our team strives to provide caring, one-on-one client service. We have over 50 years of collective legal experience, and we have the knowledge and skill to effectively fight for your right to compensation.

Don't hesitate to contact our offices. Call Komie & Morrow, LLP today at (512) 640-2050.

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