One of the best things about living near water is that it’s easy to go boating. Whether you live near a lake or the ocean, you may love spending your recreational time out on the water.
Boating can be great fun, whether you’re out for a day of fishing, water sports, or simple leisure. However, it can be incredibly dangerous too. There are many ways that you or the ones you love can suffer serious injuries that will turn a beautiful day of boating into a nightmare.
Types of Injuries That Are Common While Boating
Boating injuries can occur when someone falls off the boat. They can also occur when a boat crashes into another boat or object in the water. Capsizing is another way that those aboard boats suffer injuries.
Most frequently, people in boating accidents suffer traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, burns, soft tissue injuries, and accidental amputations. It only takes a fraction of a second for someone to get knocked off the boat and trapped underwater. This can deprive the brain of oxygen, which may result in permanent brain damage.
Why Do Boating Accidents Occur?
Boating accidents often occur because of someone else’s negligent behavior. You may have been in a boating accident onboard a vessel piloted by an inexperienced boat operator, or one that was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Distracted boating is another common cause of these accidents. Much like vehicles on land, it is just as dangerous to multitask while in command of a boat. Failing to operate the boat in compliance with laws, speeding, and neglecting to maintain the boat are other reasons why people get hurt on a day that should have been fun and full of good memories.
How to Prevent Boating Injuries
Boating will always come with risks, but there are certain steps you can take to prevent accidents on the water. One of the most important things you can do is refrain from drinking and boating. If you’re the one in command of the boat, you are responsible for all your passengers. It’s also against the law to operate a boat while you are intoxicated.
While life vests may be uncomfortable, they need to be worn. Make sure you have one for every passenger on your vessel. Even better, prior to setting out, make sure you have all boating safety equipment on board. Fire extinguishers, flares, and boat lights can all be life-saving materials in the event of an emergency.
When boating, check the weather forecast in advance. If the weather is unfavorable, it’s best to reschedule your excursion. Rough seas can cause your boat to capsize and put everyone on board in danger.
One of the most dangerous parts of any boat is the propeller. Never enter or exit the boat while the engine is on or idling to prevent serious injuries. If you’re a boat owner or renting one, make sure you are aware of all the state laws and understand boating safety. Above all, if you are injured in a boating accident because someone else was negligent, you should review your case with a boat accident attorney.