At Buttafuoco & Associates, we know that boating is among the most celebrated summer pastimes in New Jersey’s waterways. However, our Northern New Jersey boating accident injury attorneys want you to be safe this summer while you’re taking to the water. In this article, we’ll discuss the most common types of boating accidents we see in the summer months, as well as our top boating safety tips.
Common Recreational Boating Accidents and Dangers
While we don’t want to think about accidents when we’re out on the water, the unfortunate reality is that boating accidents are all too common. The ones we tend to see most often include:
- Falls Overboard: Slippery decks, sudden boat maneuvers, and a lack of safety railings can all put individuals at risk of falling overboard. This can be particularly dangerous if the person is not wearing a life jacket or if the boat is moving at high speeds.
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: It may come as a surprise, but according to research by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Carbon Monoxide is a common hazard in boating. Between 2000 and 2014, NIOSH recorded over 800 instances of boating-related Carbon Monoxide poisoning, resulting in over 140 deaths. All gasoline-powered boats emit Carbon Monoxide, and buildup can occur even in open air, leading to poisoning. Symptoms include headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, and seizures.
- Water Sports Accidents: Water skiing, tubing, and other water sports are excellent recreation to beat the heat, but they can cause extremely serious injuries in the event of collisions with other vessels or equipment malfunctions. These can be especially dangerous at high speeds.
- Boat Collisions: With the increased popularity of boating in recent years, New Jersey waterways have gotten significantly more recreational boat traffic. This has led to an increased risk of collisions.
Top 5 Boating Safety Tips
While boating can have significant dangers, our boat accident lawyers serving Northern New Jersey have several tips that can mitigate these risks.
- Wear Life Jackets: While they may seem cumbersome and unnecessary, especially if you’re a strong swimmer, life jackets and other flotation devices are among the best safety measures you can take while boating. Always make sure your flotation devices fit properly and are Coast Guard Approved.
- Avoid Alcohol Consumption: It’s illegal according to boating laws to be under the influence while boating in every state, and it can lead to severe accidents on the water due to impaired judgment and slowed reaction time. A boat accident attorney in Northern New Jersey will tell you that even a first-time offense can result in fines and up to 30 days in jail.
- Get a Free Vessel Safety Check: You can receive a free safety check from a certified vessel examiner from the United States Coast Guard. They just want everyone to be safe on the water, so there are no consequences of “failing,” and you simply need to submit an online form to get the process started.
- Supervise Children: While boating is an excellent summer pastime for the whole family, be sure to closely supervise any children on your vessel. Also make sure they wear properly fitted floatation devices.
- Take Carbon Monoxide Precautions: Educate passengers on the signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, install and test a Carbon Monoxide monitor, make sure all areas of your vessel are properly ventilated. Also make sure to stay clear of exhaust output, including from other boats while docked or anchored. It’s also a good idea to regularly test your engine’s exhaust systems.
At Buttafuoco & Associates, we know you can’t prepare for everything, but following these boating safety tips will make your summer safer. If you do happen to find yourself with boating injuries, we recommend seeking the counsel of an experienced Northern New Jersey boat accident lawyer. Get in touch with Buttafuoco & Associates to walk through the details of your case, and discuss your next steps to get the compensation you deserve.