Summer boating trips are always popular in Ohio, and many individuals and families alike still have plans to take a vacation within driving distance despite the COVID-19 emergency. While it is important to enjoy yourself as much as you can during time off from work and time spent with family, it is also important to understand the serious risks of a boating accident.
The following are five things to know about boat accidents that come from the U.S. Coast Guard’s most recent report on boating statistics from 2019.
- Alcohol is the Leading Cause of Deadly Boating Accidents
Alcohol is the leading cause of deadly boating accidents in Ohio and throughout the country. Alcohol is also one of the leading causes of boating accident injuries. Other causes of nonfatal boating accidents included an improper lookout, operator inattention, operator inexperience, and excessive speed.
To avoid a boating accident involving drunk boating, it is important to avoid consuming alcohol on the water and to avoid operating a vessel if you have been drinking. Of course, you cannot control the behavior of other boaters on different vessels, and a drunk boating accident can happen even if you take precautions.
- Most Boating Accident Deaths are Caused by Drowning
In fatal boating accidents where the U.S. Coast Guard could identify the cause of death, drowning was the leading cause of deaths. Indeed, drowning was reported as being the cause of death in 79% of fatal boat accidents.
- Majority of People Who Drown are Not Wearing Life Jackets
When drowning deaths do happen in boating accidents, almost all of them are preventable with the use of life jackets. The U.S. Coast Guard reports that 86% of people who drowned were not wearing a life jacket.
- Boating Safety Education can Make a Big Difference
About 70% of fatal boat accidents involved a vessel where the operator had not received any boating safety instruction.
- You Will Likely Need to File a Lawsuit Within Two Years from the Date of the Accident
Under Ohio’s personal injury statute of limitations, most people who are injured in a boating accident will have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you lost a loved one in a boating accident, the statute of limitations is also two years, but the clock begins ticking on the date of death instead of the date of the boating accident.
Contact Me to Discuss Your Boating Accident Case
While many families in Ohio are postponing summer vacations in other states and countries due to the coronavirus pandemic, many families are making plans to take trips within a day’s drive. As such, many Ohioans are considering summer lake vacations that will involve recreational boating.
It is extremely important to know that boating accidents can happen quickly and without warning, and that inexperienced boaters may be more likely to be involved in an accident. If you or someone you love got hurt in a boat accident and another party is at fault, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office today at 877.944.4373 to learn more about filing a claim.