Boating Accident - Do I Need a Lawyer?

With COVID-19 cases on the decline, boating is becoming an increasingly popular way to celebrate a holiday weekend. Though many people understand the importance of following Utah’s rules and regulations, recent statistics show that Utah has a lot of room for improvement. Utah is home to the second highest rate of boating under the influence and the second highest rate of boating accidents. For every 100,000 registered watercrafts, there will be an estimated 126 accidents. With more people on the water, the rate of accidents is expected to increase in 2021.


Many boating areas are expected to have additional restrictions due to the drought. These restrictions could force groups to find other areas to boat, leading to inexperienced boaters operating in unfamiliar waters. Although there are official Utah boating safety courses, they are not mandatory for adults. One of the reasons for Utah’s high accident rate may just be due to this fact: over 80% of registered boat owners have never taken an education course. Utah’s boating safety education course covers invaluable information such as speed limits, right of way etiquette, and accident prevention.


Utah’s high rate of boating under the influence has also opened the door for many preventable accidents to occur. Recent statistics show that boating under the influence caused an estimated 19 accidents per 100,000 registered watercrafts in Utah.


Driving under the influence and reckless driving are not the only sources of danger on Utah’s lakes. Carbon monoxide poisoning also poses a threat to Utah’s boaters. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, it is important to stay away from both open and enclosed exhaust areas. Utah boaters should also educate themselves on the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. 


Propeller injuries are another common cause of critical injuries on Utah’s waters. Towing people behind boats creates additional room for accidents to occur. It is important for boaters to tow others at a safe distance away from the boat’s propellers when using equipment such as water skis.


Due to the lack of education and the increasing popularity of boating, accidents on the lake have unfortunately become very common in Utah. Therefore it is important Utahns make sure their boat has all of the required safety equipment before they head for the water. Utah law requires that there is a life jacket on the boat for every person on the boat. It is estimated that 80% of drowning victims would have survived if they had been wearing a life jacket. Utah law also requires all motorboats to have a fire extinguisher on board; larger boats may require additional fire extinguishers. Utah also has specific requirements for navigation lights, backfire flame arrestors, and horns. 


While nobody plans on spending their holiday weekend in the emergency room, many Utahns do end up in serious, life-altering boating accidents. Medical bills are the last thing you want to be thinking about when you’re in the ambulance after a boating accident.  If you find yourself injured and needing a boating accident lawyer, Moxie Law Group’s experienced team can offer relief. Moxie Law is committed to representing you in recouping the costs so you can focus on your recovery.