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Need a refresher to avoid accidents once boating season starts?

As we move into spring, many people in Rhode Island begin to think about getting back out on their boats. After all, one of the best aspects of living in the state remains getting out on its waterways. If you own a boat, you might start preparing it for the season soon. It also wouldn't hurt to refresh yourself and your family with boating safety. Understanding what causes most boating accidents helps with that effort.

Four most common causes of boating accidents

Certain boating hazards sneak up on you, such as submerged rocks and shallows. However, you should make sure to avoid the following:

  • The state's waterways see an increase in boats during the summer months. Like congestion on roadways, congestion on the water increases the chances of an accident. Remain vigilant and cognizant of other boats. The number of inexperienced boaters goes up during the summer as well.
  • For some reason, many people think that the rules of the road don't apply to boating. In reality, those rules play a significant role in boating safety. For example:
    • A speeding boat causes just as much damage when it hits a solid object as a car does. Furthermore, the same reckless behaviors that accompany speeding in a car apply to boating.
    • It's illegal to drink and drive a boat. The same blood alcohol concentration level (.08) that makes it illegal to drive a car drunk also applies to boating. Over half of the fatal boating accidents involve alcohol.
  • Failing to consider the weather could result in tragedy. Inclement weather not only ruins your plans, but it also causes rough waters, which could prove difficult to navigate.
  • Failing to maintain your boat properly also invites a potential accident.

You can't control other boaters' behavior, but you can control yours. Avoiding these common causes of crashes improves your chances of having a safe and pleasurable time on the water.

If someone else disrupts your boating experience, you could suffer serious injuries or lose someone you love. Just as the law requires you to remember the rules of the road, it also provides you with an avenue to recover compensation after a boating accident that wasn't your fault.

Personal injury or wrongful death claims, as applicable, cover these accidents as well. Despite the differences between street crashes and boat crashes, the principles remain the same. An attorney helps you understand your rights and your legal options. An attorney conducts an investigation into your accident, determines what party or parties could bear legal responsibility, and advises you regarding the next step. In many cases, this means negotiating with insurance companies and filing a legal action if necessary.

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