What should you be aware of when boating?

Boat accidents in Texas are common, especially during the summer months. This is understandable given the state’s abundance of waterways, which number over 7,000 lakes.

What are some causes of boat accidents in Texas?

Various human errors and situations can lead to boat accidents. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Lack of experience
  • Driver error
  • Driving the boat while intoxicated
  • Overcrowded lakes with different types of vessels
  • Rough weather
  • Defective vessels or vessel equipment

How can lack of experience lead to a boating accident?

Just as with traffic laws, Texas has laws that boaters must abide by. In fact, if you were born after 1993, you must complete the (Texas Parks and Wild Life) TPWD-certified Boater Education training. When operating a speedboat with more than 15 horsepower or a windblown vessel over 14 feet long, you also must have a valid photo I.D.

One example of lack of experience is not knowing who has the right-of-way or Texas boating laws.

By becoming educated, you can avoid many of the pitfalls that result in boating accidents. The Handbook of Texas Boating Laws and Responsibilities also provides vital information about Texas laws and safe vessel operation.

How does driver error contribute to boat accidents?

Speeding, misjudging distances and failing to stay aware of other vessels are operator errors. Some rivers and lakes prohibit certain types of vessels. Not paying attention to marked waterways can cause an accident. In addition, operators must keep their vessels in good operating condition.

Is it illegal to operate a boat while intoxicated?

Yes, just as drinking and driving a vehicle is illegal, so is drinking and driving a boat. Alcohol can lead to slow reaction time, irresponsible behavior and bad judgment calls.

How can different types of vessels on a lake be hazardous?

Overcrowded waterways with jet skis, speed boats, sailboats and kayaks involve vessels moving at different speeds. Navigating can be complicated, which adds to the confusion and makes boaters more prone to accidents.

Why should you avoid boating in rough weather?

Stormy or foggy weather reduces visibility. In addition, high waves and winds make operating a boat more dangerous.

How do defective boats and equipment cause accidents?

Defective boats or equipment can make the boat more difficult to operate or more prone to capsizing. If the vessel or equipment is defective, your attorney can hold the manufacturer accountable.

The Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz handles boating accident cases nationwide and throughout the State of Texas. If you were in a boat accident in lakes near Austin, Dallas, San Antonio or some other Texas location, arrange a free consultation today to evaluate your potential case.