Common Causes of Boating Accidents

Boating Accidents: An Introduction
Boating accidents are an experience that no one desires to encounter. But what constitutes a boating accident? The US Coast Guard recognizes three separate scenarios which can comprise a boating accident. In the first, a passenger on a boat either dies or is wounded seriously. In the second, a passenger disappears from a boat. Injury or death are suspected in this case. The third scenario occurs when a vessel is either the cause or recipient of damages. In order to protect yourself from these types of accidents, it is important to learn the most common causes of these hardships.

Drinking and Boating
Driving a boat while intoxicated accounts for over a third of all boating accidents. Drinking and boating is also illegal in all fifty states, under penalty of sizable fines. The consequences of boating under the influence (BUI) are hefty and can involve time in jail.

Severe Weather and Boat Environment
Severe weather is another cause of many boating accidents. Storms and even severe heat and sunlight exposure can inflict bodily harm and exhaustion. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas which is emitted by boat engines. If passengers of a boat are exposed to large concentrations of carbon monoxide, they may suffer serious injury or even death.

Unfamiliar Conditions
A number of boating accidents occur when novice boaters come into harsh or unexpected conditions. Boaters who fail to follow regulations and ignore posted warnings are at an extra risk.

Negligent Driving
Negligent drivers are defined as drivers who do not conduct themselves with reasonable reactions in a circumstance. Perhaps a negligent driver is best defined in terms of the kind of boater that they are not. Reasonable boaters follow posted rules and use common sense in navigating water and dealing with other boaters. Drivers have a responsibility for the safety of the people within their boat as well as others on the water. The penalties for negligent boating are severe and can incur both civil and criminal liabilities. Those people that are victims of a boating accident have the right to bring press charges against the person at fault for medical expenses related to the accident, damage to property and all other losses experienced due to the accident. An intoxicated or reckless driver may also face charges from the state.

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