Just this past weekend, two boating accidents—nearby in West Virginia and North Carolina—claimed the lives of two people and sent another dozen to the hospital.
Out on the water, it feels empty.
With so much open space, it seems like your risk of an accident is minimal, or even nonexistent compared to a highway or the city.
And while watercraft accidents aren't nearly as common as automobile crashes, collisions and accidents on the water still happen.
Stats from the American Boating Association show that in 2014 there were 4064 boating accidents across the country—causing 2,678 injuries and 610 fatalities.
Now, that might not seem like a lot compared to the almost 33,000 traffic fatalities in 2013.
But the fact remains that boating accidents—like many car accidents—are easily avoidable.
As you can imagine, the greatest cause of death in boating accidents is drowning; roughly 78% of fatalities, in fact, where the cause of death was known.
Of that 78%, a whopping 84% of victims were not wearing life jackets.
That's the equivalent of refusing to buckle up for your morning commute.
Plus, 73% of total deaths occurred on boats where the driver did not hold a boating license—again, like riding a public bus driven by someone without a driver's license.
The same data shows that alcohol use is the single biggest factor in boating accidents.
What can we learn from the tragic accidents this past weekend, as well as the thousands of others that occur every year?
Boats are not immune to the same common sense that governs automobile use.
Failing to take safety precautions, inattention, dangerously high speeds, inexperience, and alcohol do not mix well with ANY vehicle.
If you're planning to take any boating excursions, please treat the voyage like you would any car trip—safe and alert.
If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligence of another, please give us a call today to schedule a consultation with a Norfolk personal injury attorney, please visit the website and fill out the convenient online form.
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