Boating is a popular recreational pastime in New York and other areas of the country with easy access to open water. Unfortunately, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, recreational boating results in thousands of accidents and injuries each year. In 2017, there were 4,291 recreational boating accidents around the United States, resulting in 658 deaths and 2,629 injuries. These accidents also caused an aggregated $46 million in property damage.
Just five causes account for nearly half of all recreational boating accidents and injuries, and more than 1/3 of fatalities.
The top five causes of recreational boating accidents in 2017, starting with the most common, were:
It’s important to note that the number of accidents attributable to a particular cause doesn’t necessarily correlate with the number of injuries or deaths attributable to that cause. Some types of boating accidents are more dangerous that others. For example:
Understanding the common causes of boating accidents can be the first step toward safer practices, just as it is on the road. In fact, there is significant overlap between the common causes of motor vehicle accidents and the common causes of boating accidents.
For instance, both distracted driving and driving under the influence are extremely risky behaviors, whether on the interstate, a city street, or out on the river. Similarly, inexperienced drivers are at greater risk for accidents than more seasoned operators.
If you plan to take advantage of New York’s waterways this summer, commit to staying safe and protecting your passengers and others out on the water by:
Boating under the influence, distracted boating, faulty maintenance, and other negligent behaviors by boat owners and operators give rise to liability, just as these same behaviors would on the road. If you’ve been injured in a boating accident or have lost a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation.
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