There are many reasons for fatal boat accidents. It is possible that an equipment problem could cause a fatal accident on the Ohio River or that someone else’s wake could cause a fatal accident on Lake Cumberland. However, it is more likely that a boat operator’s actions or inactions are responsible for a fatal boat accident.
Six Out of the Top Seven Known Primary Contributing Factors of Boat Accidents are Caused by Boat Operators
More specifically, the United States Coast Guard found that in 2013:
- Operator inattention caused 567 accidents and 57 deaths.
- Improper lookout caused 396 accidents and 19 deaths.
- Operator inexperience caused 385 accidents and 34 deaths.
- Excessive speed caused 319 accidents and 19 deaths.
- Alcohol use caused 236 accidents and 75 deaths.
- Violation of navigation rules caused 208 accidents and 15 deaths.
These fatal accidents have already occurred. As grieving families attempt to rebuild their lives without their loved ones, it is important for other families to take the necessary actions to prevent fatal crashes this season.
How to Prevent a Fatal Boat Crash on a Kentucky River or Lake
You may feel as if you have no control as a boat passenger on Rough River Lake, Barren River Lake, or any other Kentucky waterway. However, you do have some control. You can make sure that you have a personal flotation device, such as a life vest, prior to leaving shore. You can also make sure the boat operator doesn’t drink too much. It is important to ask questions about the boat operator’s training.
Have you ever been afraid for your life while you were a passenger on a boat? What do you wish you had done differently? What worked to keep you safe? Please leave a comment on this blog and share your experience with others.