Boat on the water

What Are the Main Causes of Boating Accidents?

When the weather is just right, recreational boaters are eager to take to the water. Boating can be a fun and exciting activity, of course, but dangers do exist, and boating accidents often result in serious harm to everyone involved. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a boating accident, do not hesitate to consult with a boat accident attorney for proper advice and guidance. 

Boating Accidents Occur for Several Reasons

When you’re involved in a boating accident, determining what caused your accident is critical. Once you know what caused your collision, liability becomes a little clearer. Several factors can play a role in a boating accident, including the individual driving the boat, the boat’s owner, and the conditions at the time of the collision. 

The following are some of the most common causes of boating accidents:

Boater Inattention

While there are no roads or signs to follow, operating a boat is much like driving a car in that it calls for a boater’s full attention in order to keep themselves and their passengers safe. 

Unfortunately, boater inattention is one of the primary causes of boating accidents, as, given the nature of the activity, distractions are plentiful while out on the open water, and it is not uncommon for boaters to take their attention off the task at hand. 

Boater Inexperience

Experience is key when safely operating a boat. Boaters are not only required to obtain special boating licenses but also to continuously learn and practice. When they lack proper skill and experience, the chances of an accident can increase, which is especially true when other factors contribute to the crash, like distractions. 


Speeding is common on the water, particularly because most boaters feel as though there are no repercussions in doing so. However, speed limits do exist on most waterways, and excessive speed can have catastrophic results. When a boater speeds, they limit the time and space they have to stop should they need to, and the impact of a speeding boat is much greater.

Improper Lookout

When operating a boat, it’s not always possible to see everything around you. Therefore, while out on the water, it’s helpful to have a lookout, a person that keeps a watchful eye for hazards or threats. An inattentive lookout can do more harm than good, however, so if you rely heavily on them and they fail to take their task seriously, the outcome could easily be a collision. 

Drug and Alcohol Use

Boaters, like drivers, should never consume alcohol or drugs while operating their vessels. Alcohol and drugs impair a boater’s ability to safely operate the watercraft, putting themselves and their passengers in danger. 

Defect or Malfunction

Sometimes, an accident simply occurs at no fault of the boater. Instead, the boat may suffer a defect, malfunction, or mechanical failure, causing the boater to lose control and collide with another watercraft or object. 

Dangerous Boating Conditions

Not every day is a good boating day, so before taking to the open waters, boaters should always check the latest weather and water conditions. Ignoring dangerous conditions can impose a higher risk of accidents. 

Discuss Your Case with a Knowledgeable Boat Accident Attorney

When you suffer harm in a boating accident, a boat accident lawyer can provide the guidance and legal representation you need. Time is limited to take legal action against a responsible party, so it’s best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. 

The experienced lawyers at the Kohan Law Group have years of experience helping injured clients get the justice and monetary recovery they deserve. Our firm serves clients in Long Island and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to request a consultation.