Locals and visitors frequently take to the water in boats and personal watercraft in Rock Island. Unfortunately, with this comes the possibility of dangerous, fatal boating accidents. There are many reasons boating accidents happen, but it’s important to remember that if you are injured in a boat wreck that wasn’t your fault, you might be entitled to compensation. The boat accident lawyers at Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham review the top five causes of Rock Island boating accidents and offer some boating safety tips.
5 Top Causes of Fatal Rock Island Boating Accidents
- Alcohol Use
In the summer months, many people spend their time cruising on their boats and having a few drinks. Drinking and driving a boat can lead to deadly outcomes and criminal charges. Alcohol was the leading cause of fatal boating accidents in 2021 and was responsible for 16% of deaths attributed to boating accidents.
The operation and control of a boat can be a challenge, especially for rookie operators. A fatal accident could occur if the boat operator lacks the knowledge or expertise needed to operate a boat. To legally operate a boat in Illinois, you must obtain a boating license by completing the Illinois Boating Safety Course and passing a safety exam.
- Excessive Speed
Even the most experienced boat drivers need to maintain a safe speed. It is easy to lose control of a boat when speeding, even more so if alcohol is involved. Reckless speeding is carelessness and endangers others on the water.
- Improper Lookout
Besides the driver, unobservant lookouts or no lookout can increase the risk of an accident.
- Equipment Failure
Faulty equipment is common in fatal boating accidents. While some of these failures can be caused by operator error and lack of maintenance, most are caused by faulty equipment. Accidents caused by faulty manufacturing are considered a dangerous product. The manufacturer may be liable for damages if this was the cause of a fatal accident.
Types of Accidents That Result in the Most Boating Fatalities
Any hazardous condition on the water has the potential to result in a tragic boating disaster. Although there are different kinds of accidents that cause fatalities, the following are the deadliest in terms of the number of deaths they have resulted in:
- Collision with another boat
- Collision with a fixed object
- Falling Overboard
Boat Safety Tips
Some accidents are unavoidable. Boating responsibly and safely can help prevent some and possibly save a life. The following tips can help prevent and live through a potentially fatal Rock Island boating accident:
- Make sure everyone wears a lifejacket, both when swimming and riding in the boat. Ensure the life jackets fit correctly.
- Always have a well-stocked and up-to-date first aid kit.
- File a float plan prior to launching.
- Double check the boat has an anchor.
- Supervise children while on board and in the water.
- Stay prepared with a boat safety kit which includes a flashlight, duct tape to temporarily patch up a leak, ropes for docking and pulling up someone who has fallen overboard, and a fire extinguisher.
- Check the weather before heading out, an unexpected storm or high winds can quickly turn deadly.
Injured in a Rock Island Boating Accident?
Our attorneys at Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham have experience representing clients and obtain settlements from fatal boating accidents that resulted from someone else’s recklessness. We’ve helped clients in Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Whiteside, and Knox counties in Illinois or Scott, Clinton, Muscatine, Cedar, and Jackson counties in Iowa.
If a loved one perished in a fatal boating accident, or you were injured as a result of a boating accident, we can help. Get in touch today for a free consultation. You can contact us 24/7. Our representatives can be reached by calling (309) 794-1515, using our LiveChat, or by filling out this contact form.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.