What is the Cause of Most Boating Accidents?

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(Last Updated On: April 10, 2022)

Boating rocks! You know that. But you must also know that boating accidents happen and you need to do everything in your power to avoid them.

Nevertheless, you’ve probably asked yourself why these water accidents happen anyway. 

While there might be hundreds of unpredictable things that can lead to boating accidents, we’ve decided to list for you the most common avoidable boating mistakes that lead to accidents.

Don’t get panicked, though. Read carefully, learn, and share the knowledge with as many boaters as possible. 

8 Avoidable Boating Mistakes

When you are on a boating trip, it is essential to be extra careful.

Understanding possible boating problems can help you learn the best ways to prevent them. 

The following are the common causes of boating accidents and how you can avoid them:

#1. The boat operator is inattentive of the weather conditions.

Before going on a boat trip, it is recommended to be updated with the weather forecasts.

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But when you are on the boating adventure, there could be unexpected changes in the weather conditions.

That’s why the boat operator should pay attention to the early warning signs that might cause hazards along the trip.

Inattentiveness with the weather changes might bring boating problems, resulting in casualties. 

Therefore, the boat operator or anyone assigned to be the lookout for threats and hazards should seriously take their jobs.

Their attentiveness during the whole trip could save lives, especially when the weather changes suddenly.

Always stay vigilant and keep an eye for early warning signs.

Young man getting ready to go on a boat trip on a lake

#2. The boat operator lacks experience in boating.

According to the 2019 Recreational Boating Statistics, the operator’s inexperience is one of the top causes of boating accidents.

Meaning, some operators took charge of boat trips despite their lack of experience.

As a boat owner or someone who plans to have a boating trip, the operator must understand at least the boating basics, from navigating to handling emergencies.

Meanwhile, passengers should follow the boat operator’s rules and cooperate with them to ensure safety.

#3. The boat takes excessive speed.

Inland, cars, and other vehicles have a speed limit to avoid accidents. The same goes for boats.

Boat operators need to follow the recommended speed to keep the passengers safe.

Overspeeding may cause several boating accidents. Among them is a collision with other boats and vessels.

Even if there are no other boats in the area, it is still crucial to follow the speed limit.

#4. The operator is drunk.

According to the same report, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.

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Besides, it was listed as the leading factor in 23% of deaths. Boat operators must not use alcohol or drugs in order to avoid boating accidents.

Remember, if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they will be unaware of what is happening around them.

Not only that, but it would be challenging for them to operate the boat. Make sure that the boat operator is in the best condition to avoid any boating problems.

#5. The boat is not in proper condition.

Before going on a boating trip, make sure that the boat is in proper condition. There were boating accidents caused by equipment failure.

To avoid these, check the boat before starting your adventure. Also, take a look at the other equipment that you will use to ensure a smooth trip.

If you need help with that you can always follow a complete guide to boating equipment just like the one we provide.

Remember, proper boat maintenance is significant to have a safe operation.

As a boat owner, it is your responsibility to frequently check the boat to ensure that it is in excellent condition.

#6. The water is dangerous for boating.

Sometimes the water conditions can be unpredictable too. Several factors may contribute to that.

For instance, changes in the weather or wake may result in water disturbance.

Massive waves can cause boating problems. Therefore, boat operators should know what to do when these circumstances happen.

#7. The boat operator violates navigational rules.

Like in roadways, there are specific rules to follow when boating.

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From using the recommended speed limit to following the maritime laws, the boat operator is expected to follow them.

Violating the boating rules might cause problems, resulting in accidents like crashes with other vessels.

As a responsible boat operator, you have to follow the boating rules to ensure a safe journey.

#8. The passengers are not wearing a life jacket.

Based on the same report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and United States Coast Guard, 79% of the fatal boating accident victims have drowned.

Among these drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 86% were not wearing a life jacket. With this report, you can tell how essential a life jacket is. 

Whether you know how to swim or not, wearing a life jacket is a must when boating.

You’ll never know what will happen, so it would be better to wear a life jacket for the whole trip.

Besides, it is designed to save lives. Both boat operators and passengers should wear it to ensure their safety.

In Conclusion

There are several reasons why boating accidents occur. As someone fond of boating adventures, it is crucial to understand the common causes.

Familiarizing yourself with the boating risks you might encounter can provide you with the precautionary measures you can follow.

The more knowledgeable you are in solving boating problems, the higher the chance you can avoid boating accidents.

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