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Top Causes of Boating Accidents

Posted on July 4, 2022

Ordinary mistakes can sometimes cause critical injuries in boating accidents, according to the United States Coast Guard’s Boating Safety. Here are the 11 events that you will want to avoid to prevent a potentially dangerous situation.

  1. Running out of gas. Always make sure you have enough fuel for your trip, plus a generous cushion in case your mileage varies or you encounter a surprise weather event.
  2. Running aground. This happens when an operator is inexperienced, careless or inebriated and can result in a cracked hull and flooded bilge.
  3. Falling overboard. Stock – and wear – life jackets. An emergency cut-off switch lanyard will automatically shut off the motor if the operator wearing it falls overboard.
  4. Sinking. Regularly check your boat for holes, corrosion or cracking.
  5. Catching fire. Check for fuel spills or leaks, run the bilge blower for at least five minutes before starting an engine, and have fire extinguishers on hand in case of a problem.
  6. Breaking down. Some mechanical failures and electrical issues cannot be predicted, but having emergency supplies on board can get you rescued faster.
  7. Speeding at night. Mistakes are more prone to happen when there are conditions or impediments that you cannot see.
  8. Lacking proper safety gear. Half of drowning fatalities occur because boaters were not wearing their life jackets, or not wearing ones that fit properly.
  9. Ignoring weather. A dedicated weather radio or weather apps on your phone can alert you to threatening conditions.
  10. Failing to maintain a lookout. “I didn’t see it coming” is a common reason for a crash.
  11. Drinking alcohol. When you’re not sober, reflexes and judgment are affected, which leads to accidents.

Some things are out of a boat operator’s control, but some things are not. When negligence has resulted in injuries in a boating accident in the Philadelphia region, please contact us to see what your legal options are.