As the weather improves and schools let out for holidays, people may engage in recreational activities, like boating. Summer weather allows boaters and passengers to enjoy the fresh air and unwind. However, in the process of unwinding, people may end up having a little too much to drink. After all, alcohol has been found to be the leading cause of boating accidents, at around 15 percent of deaths across the country and 12.5 percent in Louisiana.

Statistics also demonstrate that the number of boating accidents, deaths and injuries caused by this recreational activity has all increased. In fact, where the national number of deaths by boating accidents was 701 in 2016 (a 12 percent increase from 2015), with an average of 5.9 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational boats, Louisiana’s average was higher — 7.8 deaths resulting in 24 deaths in 2016 (up from 22 in 2015).

Ninety-two people were injured in boating accidents in Louisiana in 2016 and around $1.6 million of proper damage was sustained. The number of boating accidents has also increased in the state, from 87 in 2015, to 112 in 2016.

There are a number of factors that have led to the increase in boating accidents, such as operator inattention, inexperience, excessive speed and machinery failure. Boat operators often have not received proper safety instructions. People were also not wearing life jackets, which was a major factor leading to deaths.

A fatal boating accident is almost entirely preventable, if the boat operator takes the necessary precautions. If a Louisiana resident is injured in a watercraft accident, they may want to consider an experienced admiralty and maritime law lawyer who can help them get the compensation they deserve.

Source: dailycomet.com, “Boating deaths rise across state, nation,” Keith Magill, June 3, 2017