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NC Boating Education Down; 2014 Stats Show Boating Deaths Up

May 23, 2016 - Personal Injury by

Now that spring is here, each Charlotte personal injury lawyer at our firm wants to remind new and experienced boaters alike that boating education is an important step toward preparing to spend time on North Carolina waterways. Statistics continue to show that the time spent in instructor-led courses or even online training can make a difference to boater safety and enjoyment.

The Connection Between Training and Safety is Clear

According to the most recent report from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, NC waters saw 23 fatal accidents in 2014, marking an approximate 35 percent increase over 2013. During that same year, there were only 6,262 boating education students — significantly less than half of boating students in 2013. Even worse, the Charlotte Observer reported that three people died in boating accidents over the July 4th holiday in 2015. By that time, 21 boating-related deaths had already occurred in NC, just under the death toll for the entire 2014 year.

Although NC only requires training for boaters born after 1988, these courses provide information that helps keep everyone safe, such as the following:

  • Information about vessels and how to make sure they are properly prepared for safe trips
  • Boat operator responsibility and how to handle common conditions on the water
  • Navigation and the handling of changing conditions in the water
  • NC laws for all water vessels
  • Handling emergencies
  • Special considerations of water sports

Boating may be a recreational activity, but it carries as many potential complications as driving a car. In fact, considering that boats do not benefit from roads and well-marked lanes, they are often more prone to accidents. After spending winter months away from their vessels, the chances are that most boaters have forgotten more than they remember about how the boats operate — and how the water and other boaters can affect the sudden decisions they must make. One wrong choice during a fun day on the water can become a major disaster.

Full Compliance With Safety Rules Does Not Always Prevent Injuries

Training courses can go a long way toward helping boaters prevent accidents caused by other vessels, but even extreme attention to safety cannot always protect against boating accidents caused by others on the water. With so many things happening when an accident happens, it can be challenging to identify the precise causes that help determine liability.

An attorney who has experience with these accidents is essential in helping accident victims sort out the details, possibly enlisting the aid of investigative resources to develop evidence-based cases. For skilled legal support of a boating accident claim, call us at 844-452-3688 or use our convenient online contact form.