How Common Are Boating Accidents in North Carolina?
Boating is a popular recreational activity in North Carolina, with the state’s many lakes and waterways providing ample opportunities for boaters to enjoy the great outdoors. However, like any activity that involves vehicles, there is always the risk of accidents occurring. In this blog, we’ll take a look at how common boating accidents are in North Carolina, and what steps boaters can take to reduce their risk of being involved in an accident.
According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), there were a total of 371 boating accidents in the state in 2020. These accidents resulted in 37 deaths and 174 injuries. While this may seem like a relatively small number compared to the millions of people who enjoy boating in North Carolina each year, it is still a significant concern and highlights the importance of being aware of the risks and taking steps to reduce the chances of an accident occurring.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents in North Carolina
One of the main causes of boating accidents in North Carolina is operator error. This can include things like speeding, reckless or careless operation, and failure to follow safety regulations.
Alcohol is also a factor in many boating accidents, with the NCWRC reporting that alcohol was involved in 41% of the state’s boating fatalities in 2020. It’s important to remember that the same laws apply to operating a boat as to operating a car, and boaters should never drink and operate a vessel.
In addition to operator error, there are other factors that can contribute to boating accidents in North Carolina. These include mechanical failure, adverse weather conditions, and inadequate equipment or maintenance. It’s important for boaters to regularly maintain their vessels and ensure that all safety equipment is in good working order before heading out on the water.
So, how can boaters reduce their risk of being involved in a boating accident in North Carolina? One of the most effective ways is to take a boating safety course. The NCWRC offers a variety of boating safety courses, both in-person and online, that can help boaters learn about safe boating practices and the state’s boating laws. Another important step is to always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while on the water. PFDs can save lives in the event of an accident or capsizing, and it is required by law for all boaters and passengers on boats less than 16 feet in length to wear one at all times.
In summary, while boating accidents in North Carolina are not necessarily common, they can still occur. By following safe boating practices, such as taking a boating safety course and wearing a PFD, and being aware of the risks, boaters can significantly reduce their chances of being involved in an accident. Whether you’re a seasoned boater or just starting out, it’s important to always be mindful of safety and to respect the rules of the water.
That said, even if you take proper precautions, it’s still possible you may one day be harmed in a boating accident resulting from the negligence of another party.
Contact a lawyer if that happens. At Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, a Charlotte boating accident attorney will review your case and explain whether you may be eligible to receive financial compensation. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 704-335-1500.