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Top 5 Causes of Boating Accidents

Allatoona, Hartwell, Oconee, Lanier – Georgia is home to some of the most popular lakes in the Southeast. This means many people flock to the water with their boats each year to fish, swim, and have a good time. Sadly, some of these people often end up injured or even lose their lives in boating accidents, but knowing the most common causes of these accidents may help save your own life or the lives of your loved ones.

5. Equipment Failures

Mechanical issues are sometimes unavoidable, but many times, they occur because the person who owns the boat failed to properly maintain it. Just like any other vehicle, a boat needs regular attention, even when you aren’t taking it out on the water. Carbon monoxide poisoning via your engine is a potential hazard. Another common problem is finding out your lights do not work after you have already decided to stay out past dark.

4. Inclement Weather

Georgia offers some gorgeous weather throughout the year, but it can also be unpredictable. It is not unusual for a thunderstorm with high winds to pop up during the springtime, and a random summer torrential downpour is not unheard of. Don’t forget tornadoes, hurricanes, and tropical storms. Pay close attention to weather reports before you head out on the water, and keep a weather radio on your boat if possible.

3. Recklessness

Numerous actions can fall into the category of recklessness: alcohol and drug use, allowing passengers to act in a manner that interferes with safe operations, speed, and attempting to splash or race other boats are just a few. It is important to avoid this type of behavior, because some of it is illegal, and all of it could result in a terrible accident.

2. Negligent Operator

It is easy to become distracted when you’re out on the water. The scenery is beautiful, you’re having fun talking to your friends, and you are thinking about how you are going to grill that fish you caught. It is fine to take part in these activities, but you must pay attention to what’s going on around you in the water, as well. You never want to be surprised by a storm, another boat, or unsafe water conditions.

1. Inexperienced Operator

Not knowing how to operate a boat is often the number one reason why boaters have accidents. Georgia offers its own Official Boater Safety Education Course sponsored by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. It teaches you everything from how to operate the boat and enjoy water sports to local laws and what to do in an emergency.

Of course, none of the safety precautions in the world can prevent the occasional accident. If you are in need of a Georgia boating accident lawyer, contact Ashenden & Hollingsworth, P.C. at 770-394-8909.