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The top contributors to boating accidents

Karns & Kerrison

Getting into a boating accident in Rhode Island can result in serious and even deadly injuries for you and your passengers, which is why it is important to be aware of the most common contributors to these incidents. We at Karns & Kerrison can represent you if you are injured in an accident, but have also provided this list to help you stay safe and avoid boating dangers.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the number one reason boats are involved in accidents is operator inattention. Distractions, such as cellphones, other passengers or looking down, contributed to the largest number of accidents during the study year of 2014. The largest number of injuries were also caused by drivers who were not paying as much attention as they should have been.

The second- and third-biggest causes of accidents were improper lookout and operator inattention, although operator inattention caused significantly more deaths than either of the two larger causes of accidents. Following these were excessive speed, alcohol use and machinery failure. While many boaters think that weather and rough waters are one of the biggest causes of boating accidents, these two factors were only numbers eight and nine on the list of common accidents, yet caused the second-and third-highest number of deaths.

Despite being the fifth-highest cause of accidents, deaths caused by alcohol use were dramatically higher than any other contributing factor. While the number of injuries sustained during alcohol-related accidents was not significant, the death total was almost twice that of the next highest factor. For more information on boating accidents and maritime injuries, please visit our web page.


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If you or your loved one suffered severe, life-altering injuries due to someone else’s negligence, we are here to help you fight for justice. For answers to your questions or to schedule a free consultation, contact our personal injury team at (888) 281-3100. We offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay attorneys’ fees after we have recovered compensation on your behalf.

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