Boating is a fun activity that can be enjoyed by each member of the family. On any given weekend or holiday many of the 12 million registered boats will be on lakes, rivers, oceans, marinas, reservoirs, and bays in the United States. Due to the shear number of boats in the water, accidents will happen that may cause serious injuries or even deaths. In 2010, the Coast Guard counted 4,604 recreational boating accidents that involved 672 deaths and 3,153 injuries. California accounted for 400 boating accidents, which resulted in 48 fatalities, 281 injured, and over 3.6 million dollars in damages. You may want to consider the causes of California boating accidents so you will be able to prevent potential injuries.
According to statistics, operator inattention is the primary reason why boating accidents occur. Although the main purpose of this recreational activity is for relaxation, do not forget that you still have to abide by the maritime laws of the state.
One of the most important rules when operating a boat is to look out. Failing to do so has resulted in hundreds of boating accidents. Improper lookout is the second primary contributing factor in boating accidents. In most cases, the boat operator is not paying attention to the other boats in the water. To prevent this from happening, make sure to appoint someone to act as a lookout while operating the boat.
The third primary contributing factor for boating accidents is operator inexperience. Only 9 percent of deaths occur on boats where the operator was instructed on boating safety.
Simple negligent acts such as speeding, is another cause of California boating accidents. Excessive speed on waterways is the fourth primary contributing factor in boating accidents. Just because a lake or the sea does not have a posted speed limit like a highway or roadway does not mean that you are free to go as fast as your heart warrants. You should mind no wake rules in harbors, other boats, and the weather and water conditions.
Alcohol consumption is the final primary cause of boating accidents. Alcohol is the fifth leading cause for accidents but is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. If you are going to drink before or while boating, do not operate a boat. If you are going to drink and can afford it, hire someone else to operate the boat in order to prevent an accident or death. Misbehavior of passengers due to drinking can also lead to serious injuries so plan ahead before the weekends and holidays. Having the proper number of life preservers for the number of passengers and safety instructions can help prevent an accident, injury, and/or death.
In conclusion, most of California boating accidents occur due to plain negligence on the part of the operator and sometimes on the passengers too. If you have been injured in a boating accident due to laxity of another person, consult with an experienced lawyer regarding your case.
The Beliz Law Firm is a Long Beach boating accident lawyer. The Beliz Law Firm only works in the personal injury area of law and specifically works on cases that are related to California boating accidents. Since 2005, Michael A. Beliz has worked for and learned from two of the most prominent personal injury law firms in Southern California. Michael has worked on hundreds of cases throughout California including many serious injury cases involving boating accidents. He has handled cases from the very early stages of a claim through the entire litigation process, including trial, and has settled claims for hundreds of thousands of dollars for his clients. Further, Michael has earned a reputation for being trustworthy, knowledgeable, and an advocate for his clients.