Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.
Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.

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Elkhorn, WI

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Is distracted boating even a thing? Yes, and it’s dangerous

Distracted driving causes numerous accidents every year that result in injuries and fatalities. For this reason, you know not to text, watch a movie or take your eyes off the road when behind the wheel of your vehicle.

What about when you get onto your boat? Do you apply the same care when driving your boat as you do when driving your car? Many see boating here in Wisconsin and elsewhere as a recreational activity, so you may not put the same emphasis on “driving safely” as you do on the road.

Driving a boat requires attention, too

Did you know that you can get a DUI in a boat? You can also get a speeding ticket and face criminal charges if you cause an accident. Part of the reason you go out on your boat is to relax and have a good time, but when the engine is running, you need to pay attention. Each year, thousands of people suffer injuries and hundreds die in boating accidents. Many of the accidents that lead to those injuries and deaths result from distracted boat drivers.

To reduce the risk of becoming a statistic this boating season, you may want to consider using the following method referred to as “SCAN:”

  • While driving your boat, you need to search the area around you constantly. The faster you are going, the more area you need to keep track of since you may come upon objects quickly.
  • You need to concentrate on what you see. Understanding what you are looking at will help you react to it.
  • Quickly analyze what you see. Is that object moving, coming toward you, going away from you or stationary?
  • Then you must negotiate the waterway safely to avoid an accident with the information gathered.

If you aren’t paying adequate attention, you could miss something and end up in an accident. Using this method could save your life and the lives of those on your boat and around it.

Not everyone pays attention while driving a boat

You may pay attention while your boat is in motion, but others may not. An accident could leave you with injuries that require a substantial amount of time from which to recover. During that time, you may not be able to work and could incur a significant amount of medical bills. If another boat driver caused the accident in which you suffered injuries, you might pursue compensation to help with your financial losses.

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