two boats on the water

5 Things That Can Contribute to a Boat Accident

Last year, over 150 reportable boating accidents happened throughout Tennessee. These accidents occurred for a variety of reasons, including infractions by boat drivers, as well as issues with the vessels themselves. If you’ve bought a boat and you’re preparing for time on the lake with family and friends, you need to take all precautions in order to avoid any kind of mishap. Here are 5 things that can contribute to a boat accident:

1. Distracted Operation

The distracted driving issues that apply when you’re behind the wheel of a car are the same when you’re on your boat. Texting while driving, eating or drinking or messing with the boat while you’re driving can be deadly. You need to make sure that all your focus is on the water and your close surroundings when you drive. It can be easy to miss jet skiers, wake boarders, swimmers or even other boats when you aren’t paying attention. By keeping your eyes and hands where they need to be, you can react to any oncoming traffic or issues if need be.

2. Boating Under the Influence

drinking and boatingIn 2019, alcohol use accounted for 23% of boating deaths within the U.S. We understand it can be tempting to want to have a cold beer with your fellow passengers while relaxing on the boat, but it is essential you don’t partake in drinking if you’ll be driving the boat. Just like driving a car, you’re operating a vehicle while at the wheel. If any of your senses or awareness is impaired, you shouldn’t be driving at all.

3. Speeding

You may think that because you’re on open water with less traffic and no speed cameras that you can go as fast as you please. This couldn’t be further from the case. Boats aren’t as easy to stop as a moving car, and it takes way longer to respond. Therefore, you should always take a defensive approach when driving a boat. By operating from a cautious perspective, you will be able to react to the mistakes made by other drivers and potentially save your boat and your crew.

4. Not Having a Lookout

We know there is a lot to keep an eye out for while driving a boat. From debris floating in the water to other vessels, it can be easy to miss something. That’s why it is so important to have a proper lookout. A lookout is a passenger on the boat who essentially is your second pair of eyes and ears. They help ensure you don’t come in contact with submerged objects, people or boats. This is just one of the things we highly recommend you do in order to avoid a boat accident.

5. Mechanical Failure

boat in the waterNothing ruins a fun day on the lake like a mechanical problem. From a faulty battery to a broken light, these issues can become huge inconveniences, and if not taken care of, they can lead to an accident. You need to be doing your own check ups, in addition to having the boat observed regularly for any issues. We also recommend you carry spare parts whenever you can. Before you leave, don’t forget to top off your tank so you don’t run out of gas on the water.

Now that you know just a few of the common factors that contribute to boat accidents, you’ll know exactly how to avoid them. Have you or someone you love been in a boating accident? Give our lawyers a call and let us help you obtain your owed compensation.

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