Boating is a popular summertime activity in Vancouver and throughout Washington State. Local waterways become more crowded through the months of June through August as people enjoy fishing, sailing, kayaking, and taking tourist trips. Unfortunately, the increase in the number of boats on the water, the lack of experience among some vessel operators, and the tendency to overindulge in alcohol on these trips increases the likelihood of boating accidents resulting in serious personal injuries. The following offers important tips to help ensure a fun and safe boating season.
Boat Accidents and Personal Injuries in Vancouver
As a coastal city, Vancouver offers plenty of marinas, boat launches, and places to drop anchor. Our own and other waterways throughout the state appeal to both local residents and visitors from other areas, particularly during the summer months. As a result, the likelihood of boating accidents and serious personal injuries increases. According to statistics from the Washington State Department of Parks and Recreations, more than 100 boating accidents occur throughout the area each year. State officials identify three common causes for the majority of accidents:
- Boat operator inattention;
- Lack of boating experience;
- The use of alcohol or drugs while on the water.
Boat collisions can happen with other boats or with fixed objects. However, crashes are not the only way boating injuries occur. They can happen as the result of accidental drownings or near drownings and due to slips, trips, falls, or getting struck by or against objects in the boat. These types of boating accidents can result in serious injuries. When these occur due to the boat operator’s negligence, whether you are on a private vessel or while taking a commercial boating trip, they can be held liable for the medical costs and other expenses you suffer.
Play It Safe to Avoid Boating Injuries
To protect yourself on waterways in Vancouver or throughout the state, it is important to follow some simple safety tips. The Clark County Marine Patrol urges all boat operators to take a boating safety course and to refresh their boat handling and navigational skills through classes offered online and in locations throughout the area. Additional tips to help prevent boating accidents and injuries include:
- Make sure your boat is properly maintained and in good working order before heading out.
- Always wear a life jacket while boating and require your passengers to do the same.
- Avoid going to fast in high traffic areas and use extra caution in no wake zones.
- Steer clear of getting too close to other vessels.
- Refrain from drinking or using any substance that could impair your reasoning or reflexes while on the water.
- Monitor alcohol consumption of passengers in your boat.
- Make sure all boat occupants know how to swim.
Contact Our Washington Boat Accident Attorneys
When boating accidents happen, the Johnston Law Firm can advise you on your rights in seeking compensation. To request a free consultation regarding your case and how we can assist you, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Vancouver personal injury attorneys online.