Boating accidents and personal injuries are often caused by negligence and occur more often in the summer months. However, many of these accidents can be prevented. Here is a look some ways to help prevent boating accidents and injuries in the Carolinas.
|Lake Wylie bordering North Carolina and South Carolina|
Don’t Drink and Boat
One of the top ways to prevent boating accidents is to avoid drinking and driving a boat. Boaters who are found guilty of this infraction could face the same charges as people who are arrested for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.
For example, the state of North Carolina has three varying levels associated with BUI (Boating Under the Influence). Boat checks can also done on the whim by state wildlife and game officials, who have more leeway in this area than police officers making auto related traffic stops.
Avoid Excessive Speeding
Unlike cars, boats are not equipped with brakes. Therefore, stopping suddenly is not as simple which makes speeding even more dangerous in a boat. A lack of seat belts can also cause severe injuries to passengers in the event of a collision. Boat captains should be well-trained in how to handle a boat, which becomes increasingly difficult at high speeds.
Stay Stocked and Ready
More than 80% of all boating fatalities occur when a person is not wearing a life jacket. Stocking your boat with an ample amount of life jackets is extremely important before heading out on the water. Keeping a fully-stocked emergency kit, distress signals and a working fire extinguisher can also help manage through any unforeseen trouble.
Careful Captains and Passengers
Recklessness should not only be avoided by the captain, but passengers should also be mindful of their behavior. People falling overboard is one of the most common causes of boating deaths. It is important to be mindful of that.
Maintaining what is considered to be safe speeds, limiting alcohol consumption among passengers, and constantly monitoring the weather can help safe passage in a boat.
Don’t Rely On Cell Phones
Every boat should be equipped with GPS navigation and the ability to radio into shore. That does not mean relying merely on a cell phone, since both signal and power could be lost at sea. Having working GPS instruments onboard can potentially assist in successful navigation and calls for help if needed.
Stewart Law Offices handles jet ski and boating accidents Columbia SC to Charlotte NC. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help. If you have been injured in a boating related accident in SC or NC, please give us a call at 866-STEWART.
Following a June 14 recreational boating accident, the 43-year-old driver of the craft is in jail facing charges for boating under the influence, according to WLTX CBS 19.
The accident happened around 7:30 p.m. on Lake Marion just outside of Eutawville, South Carolina when the boat struck a buoy near Red Bank Landing. The force of the collision sent three of the four people onboard the boat flying into the water, resulting in the death of one and injuries to the others.
While the drunken boater in the reported incident referenced above is facing criminal charges, that may be of little direct benefit to his victims. The state or prosecuting attorney represents the collective interests of society, not individual victims of wrongdoing. For victims, a civil suit often represents their best chance to hold the drunken boater accountable in a way that will actually help make the victim whole again.
Is My Family Safe on the Water?
No matter how responsible you are behind the wheel of a boat, the reckless actions of your fellow boaters can still put your family in harm’s way. Victims of boating accidents caused by the mistakes of others need to act as soon as possible to ensure valuable evidence is not lost, and obtain the assistance they need to help secure the money they will require for hospital bills, long-term medical care and living expenses incurred during the recovery process.
An experienced accident lawyer can guide families through the process of holding those at fault accountable for the pain and suffering they inflict on others.
Did You Know: Alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in 2012 according to US Coast Guard data, causing 17 percent of all such incidents.
Note: This information is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. You can only receive legal advice by meeting with an attorney.
Boaters beware. This weekend, thousands of people will take their vessels out on the water to celebrate the unofficial end of summer. If you plan on being one of them, remember: safety first!
The risk of boating accidents is overlooked by many people, but the danger is definitely real. According to the United States Coast Guard, there were 4,158 recreational boating accidents in 2015 alone. These wrecks accounted for 2,613 injuries, 626 deaths, and more than $40 million worth of damage to property.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help you stay out of harm’s way while you navigate the seas:
- Always boat sober. This should go without saying, but alcohol is the most common contributing factor to boating deaths.
- Properly maintain your boat and safety equipment. Make sure your boat is in good working order and meets all safety specifications. You could be held personally liable for any injuries that occur if something is not up to par.
- Monitor weather conditions. Poor weather conditions are responsible for hundreds of boating deaths each year. Check the forecast before you set sail, and return to shore quickly if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
- Maintain a safe speed. Excessive speeding puts you at a higher risk of crashing; not to mention you could receive a ticket from your local maritime authority.
- Stay alert! Above all else, stay cognizant and aware of your surroundings. It may be hard to pay attention to the water with a boat full of lively passengers, but failure to do so could be fatal.
What should you do if you, or someone you love, is injured in a boating accident?
People injured in navigable bodies of water should seek legal representation when seeking recovery. A settlement can help you pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and damaged property; but you should not fight the battle alone. The injury attorneys at Stewart Law Offices know your rights, and have experience handling maritime claims in both state and federal courts. If you are currently recovering at your home or hospital, we can even arrange to meet at your convenience for a free consultation. Give us a call today at 888-268-5600.