Boating collisions in Mississippi are responsible for the highest number of injuries and fatalities related to recreational activities. In 2021, the U.S. Coast Guard reported that a collision with another boat was the number one cause of injuries and fatalities. To reduce the likelihood of such an event, you must familiarize yourself with boating safety regulations before going on the water.
Knowing what types of boats are required to carry specific safety equipment, understanding proper navigation techniques, and following all speed limits can help you stay safe while on the water. Additionally, alcohol consumption should be avoided as it is a significant contributing factor to accidents on the water.
Major Causes of Boating Collisions With Another Recreational Vessel
Major causes of collisions with another boat or recreational vessel include:
- Careless operation of the vessel: Operating a boat recklessly, such as excessive speed, weaving in and out of traffic, not paying attention to other vessels, and failing to observe proper navigation rules, can lead to a boating accident.
- Alcohol consumption by one or more parties involved: Alcohol consumption impairs judgment and reaction time, increasing the chances of a collision. It is illegal to operate a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs in most states.
- Equipment failure: Defective or malfunctioning equipment can cause loss or control of the vessel leading to boating collisions with other vessels. Properly maintained and inspected vessels help reduce incidents caused by equipment failure.
- Distracted boaters: Boaters who are distracted from operating their vessel safely, whether it’s due to cell phone use, conversations with passengers, eating, etc., can lead to accidents on the water.
- Improper navigation: Boaters who fail to follow proper navigation rules and regulations, such as staying in designated travel lanes and observing speed limits, can increase the risk of colliding with another vessel.
- Mechanical failure or breakdown: Vessels that suffer from mechanical failures or breakdowns can be difficult to control and maneuver, which can lead to boating collisions with other vessels nearby. Ensuring that your vessel is regularly serviced and maintained helps reduce the chances of this occurring.
- Wake jumpers: Vessels that are “wake jumping”, when a boat jumps the waves created by another vessel, can lead to collisions due to sudden changes in direction or speed. Wake jumpers should always be aware of their surroundings before attempting this maneuver.
- Operator fatigue: Fatigue from long hours on the water can impair a boater’s ability to operate their vessel safely, increasing the chances of an accident. Taking regular breaks and staying hydrated helps reduce operator fatigue while out on the water.
Recovering Injury Compensation After a Boating Accident
If you are a boater who has sustained an injury due to someone else’s negligence, it is important to understand your legal rights and options. A maritime lawyer can investigate the cause of the accident injury and help you get the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
The Diaz Law Firm: Boating Accident Injuries
A Mississippi boating accident can result in severe injuries, and the Diaz Law Firm is dedicated to helping you recover the compensation you deserve. Get a free consultation by calling (601) 607-3456 or (800) 459-2222 today. Our website also allows you to get in touch with us online. Feel free to contact us!