Boat dealers have reported record sales during the pandemic and, across the country, there are many new faces on the docks as activities on land remain limited. As many head out to enjoy the last of the warm weather on watercraft over the next several weeks, it is important for boat operators and passengers to make safety a priority.
Boating Safety to Prevent Accidents
Each year hundreds of lives are lost, thousands are injured, and millions of dollars of property damage occurs due to preventable recreational boating accidents on U.S. waterways. Human error remains the leading cause of most boating accidents, so it is very important for boaters to educate themselves on the safe operation of boats before heading out, enrolling in one of many boater safety courses offered throughout the country which provide not only a review of boating laws and regulations, but also instruction on safe and attentive operation of watercraft.
Life Vests Save Lives
Both Iowa and Illinois state law requires life jackets be available to each person aboard a boat and that kids under the age of 13 where a life jacket at all times, unless they are below deck or in an enclosed cabin. The department of natal resources estimates that over 80 percent of boating fatality victims were not wearing their vests when an accident occurred – wearing life vests has the potential to save lives when boating accidents occur.
Boating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Training and experience are paramount before operating on crowded waters, but so is being sober. Every year, hundreds of boaters are arrested for operating under the influence, with many boating related fatalities involving alcohol or drug impairment. Just like a vehicle on the highway, boats can travel at a high rate of speed, often surrounded by other water vessels, making attentive driving a must. Boating is perhaps even more dangerous than driving a car as there are no lanes of traffic signals to direct traffic and many different watercraft of varying sizes are in the mix.
Contact Our Boating Accident Injury Attorneys
Residents in the Quad Cities have a number of options when boating including the Mississippi river, which attracts many boaters to the area. Exercising caution out on the waterways goes a long way in preventing injuries and fatalities involving recreational boating, but sometimes accidents happen. If you or a family member is injured in a boating accident, it is important to seek help. Contact the Quad Cities boating accident injury lawyers of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC at 563-355-6478 for help.