There are so many great places to enjoy the summer and cool off in Georgia. But while you're boating on Lake Lanier or kayaking down the Chattahoochee, it behooves us to remember how to stay safe around water.
According to the United States Coast Guard, there were nearly 4,300 boating accidents in 2017 that resulted in 658 deaths, 2,629 injuries and approximately $46 million dollars of property damage.
#1 Wear a Life Jacket
Most boating deaths are caused by drowning, with nearly 85% of victims not wearing life jackets. The CDC estimates that potentially half of all boat accident deaths could be prevented if more people wore life jackets.
#2 Don't Drink Alcohol
Alcohol and water recreation do not mix. Drinking influences balance, coordination, and judgment, all the things you need to stay safe and alert. And the effects of alcohol are heightened by sun exposure and heat.
Alcohol consumption is involved in two-thirds of deaths associated with recreational water activities, almost a quarter of emergency room visits for drowning, and about one in five reported boating deaths.
Avoid drinking before or during swimming, boating or water skiing. Stay sober when supervising children.
#3 Receive Boating Safety Instruction
Many boat crashes, injuries, and deaths are due to operator inexperience. Families and friends enjoying a day on the lake or river in a small craft may have never or rarely set foot in a vessel before.
Eighty-one percent of deaths happened on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction or certification. Without proper safety knowledge, boat riders or operators may engage in risky behavior that endangers others.
Top 5 Boating Accident Types
Top 10 Factors That Cause Boating Accidents
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Machinery failure
- Alcohol use
- Excessive speeds
- Navigation rules violation
- Hazardous waters
- Force of wave/wake
Vessel Types With the Most Fatalities
Leading Causes of Death
Drowning may be the leading cause of death and injury but there are many other ways passengers can be injured or killed. Physical trauma from a collision, fall or assault can leave a person with bruises, broken bones, lacerations, concussion, spinal cord injuries, and even amputation.
Injury or death can also result from cardiac arrest, seizures, hypothermia, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
When to Call a Boating Accident Lawyer
Like car crashes, boating accidents can involve many different types of vessels (canoes, kayaks, motorboats, river tubes, etc.), different environmental conditions (lake, river, creek, rain, etc.), and unique situations (docking, cruising, rowing, sailing, etc.).
However a loved one was injured or killed, our personal injury law office can help in cases of negligence to ensure your rights are protected and you receive the settlement and health benefits you deserve.
Boating accidents are expensive, complicated, and stressful. Contact Gary Martin Hays & Associates to discuss your claim for free.