The most common type of boating accident in Ohio in 2015 was a collision with another vessel. This assessment comes from the 2015 Recreational Boating Statistics report released by the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety.
Ohio’s Most Common Boating Accidents
The five most common types of boating accidents in Ohio were:
- Collision with recreational vessel – 23
- Capsizing – 13
- Flooding/swamping – 13
- Grounding – 12
- Collision with fixed object – 7
The 100 total boating accidents in Ohio resulted in 57 injuries and 13 deaths. Of these deaths, ten were caused by drowning.
How Vessel Collisions Occur
According to the report, the top six causes of boating accidents nationwide in 2015 were:
- Operator inattention
- Operator inexperience
- Improper lookout
- Excessive speed
- Alcohol use
Operator inattention occurs when the boat operator is paying more attention to his passengers or another distraction like a cell phone. This inattention is similar to distracted driving in a car, where taking your eyes off the route for mere seconds can be catastrophic.
Operator inexperience and improper lookout go hand in hand. Inexperienced boat operators may not know the proper lookout procedures, fail to have adequate lighting and flags, and not heed warnings about distance and mooring.
Excessive speed can be deadly, even in open water. Some vessels become impossible to control at certain speeds and choppy water can make speeding even more dangerous. It is important to mind both the posted speed limits near land and reasonable limits while in the open.
In Ohio, alcohol use contributed to eight boating accidents in 2015, causing four deaths and six injuries. The marine environment can enhance the effects of alcohol on the body, causing significant impairment of motor skills and reaction time.
Improving Boating Safety Is Everybody’s Responsibility
From those who maintain the boat to the passengers, everyone should know basic boating safety skills. Always make sure you boat responsibly and with someone you trust at the helm. Boating safety courses are a great way to get familiar with boat operations. And check out our previous blog on boat safety tips and boat safety equipment.
When boating accidents happen, Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. is here to help. Contact our office at 734-922-8001 to get started.