• Common Causes of Boating Accidents
  • June 29, 2017
  • Summertime is here, which means that this is the perfect time to review some key boating safety tips. Being prepared on the water can make the difference between making happy memories and having a tragic boating accident. According to the United States Coast Guard, recently there were around 5,000 recreational boating accidents over the course of a year. Sadly, most of these accidents are preventable.

    Avoiding a Boat Accident in New Jersey

    Understanding why boating accidents happen can help you stay alert and safe on the water:

    Unsafe equipment. Boat owners should maintain their boats according to manufacturer specifications year-round. Check your boat to ensure it is in good, working condition before every trip.

    Stay alert while operating. Weather conditions can be unpredictable, so study forecasts before setting out. Stay vigilant at all times for unsafe conditions or objects in the water nearby.

    Follow navigational rules. Just as on the roads, there are rules that boat operators must follow. Learn these rules and follow them to avoid colliding with other vessels or running ashore.

    Stay sober. Do not operate a boat if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In many states, the legal blood alcohol content limit is the same as it is for automobile drivers. Intoxicated boating can lead not only to tickets and fines, but to serious and even deadly accidents.

    Excessive speed. Operating your boat at an appropriate speed will ensure that you have time to react to any dangers. Excessive speed may result in collisions with other boats, running ashore, or even capsizing.

    Lack of a lookout. When boating, it is important that the operator designate a lookout to keep watch for hazards or threats.

    Inexperienced operators. The United States Coast Guard reports that inexperienced boat operators are the third leading cause of boating accidents. Not only should boat owners understand the rules of navigation, but they should also know how to respond to unpredictable conditions and emergency situations. Many boat shops and safety institutes offer boating classes.

    Bad weather. Boat operators should always check weather conditions (storm forecasts and wind patterns) before heading out. Many boaters ignore weather alerts, thinking that the day looks sunny and the report must be wrong, only to find the weather quickly change, putting them in danger. Never ignore weather alerts.

    Waves and wakes. A wake is a disturbance in the water that occurs behind a boat. Wakes can generate large waves that can disrupt another vessel’s course in the water. Wakes and large waves are known to cause serious injuries and fatalities. Take a boating safety course to better prepare yourself for these situations.

    New Jersey Boating Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Represent Victims of Boating Accidents

    If you or a loved one has sustained boat accident injuries caused by another boater’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries and damages. The experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP have extensive experience representing victims of boating accidents. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 732-777-0100 or contact us online. With offices in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout the state.