Top 5 Causes of Boating Accidents in Pompano Beach, Florida
July 10, 2022
Florida is arguably the boating capital of the U.S., with numerous marinas dotted along the state’s extensive coastline. As a result, many people in Florida enjoy boating as a fun, relaxing recreational activity. But by getting out on the water, you may put yourself at risk of being involved in a boating accident. This can be especially true in Florida’s busier waters. Therefore, it is important to be aware of some of the most frequent causes of boating accidents so that you can avoid them and keep yourself and your companions safe out on the water. Five of the top causes of boating accidents include:
More and more boat accidents in recent years are being attributed to operator inattentiveness and distraction, as many boat operators are on their cell phones while at the helm, just as many drivers choose to text and drive while behind the wheel of their car. However, being distracted while operating a boat or watercraft can be just as dangerous as texting and driving. Boater inattentiveness can also be caused by a phenomenon called “boater hypnosis,” which results from fatigue due to boat engine vibrations, waves, winds, and sun glare over an extended period of time.
Boat owners need to perform regular maintenance on their craft and to conduct frequent inspections for potential problems. Water can be especially tough on a boat’s machinery, even if it is marine grade. Failure to keep up with maintenance and to regularly check on important machinery on a boat can lead to mechanical issues and failures that result in an accident. One of the most common mechanical issues that boats experience is engine failure. Signs of engine failure include overheating, a stuck trim, inability to shift gears, and loss of engine power or inability to transfer engine power to the propeller. A boat that becomes dead in the water poses a hazard to other craft, especially in busy waters.
As with speeding on the road, speeding on the water puts boat operators and passengers at risk of a devastating accident. By speeding, an operator gives themselves less time to react to a hazard in the water, such as another craft, a large wave, or an obstacle floating on or just below the surface of the water. Speeding can also cause boat occupants to be ejected from the vessel in a crash with another craft or with a high wave or obstacle.
Depending on the type of craft involved, training requirements for watercraft operators can be very minimal. First-time boat owners may purchase a craft thinking that it isn’t much different from driving a car, only to buy a vessel far beyond their ability to safely operate.
Boaters are expected to keep a proper lookout on the water, which involves having a clear view of the waters surrounding the boat’s bow and port and starboard sides to be able to identify potential hazards such as swimmers or cordoned-off waters, other vessels, buoys, or sandbars or rocks. Larger vessels often require multiple people to maintain an adequate lookout.
Contact a Lake Worth Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Boat Accident Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a boat accident in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. represent clients injured because of boat accidents in Miramar, Coral Springs, Davie, Boca Raton, and throughout Florida. Call (561) 533-0345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 4701 N Federal Hwy #309, Pompano Beach, FL 33064 as well as offices in Lake Worth.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.