Spring is here, the weather is nice out here in Cincinnati, Ohio and the surrounding area and many people are heading outdoors. Whether you’re out on a motorcycle riding up and down the beautiful rural roads, in the woods while hiking or mountain biking, or on the water, it’s whatever floats your boat, right?

Unfortunately, the warmer weather and increase of outdoor activities also means that we should remind our readers that an accident can happen to anyone at any time, whether you are on the roads, in the woods or on the water.

Travelling on the water may seem like a safe way to travel and enjoy oneself. There are no animals on the roads or drunk drivers on the streets to worry about. But the fact is that drunk riding also occurs, and it is often dangerous and deadly. According to a 2015 report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the I.S. Coast Guard and the Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety, accidents on the water happen at a higher frequency than one might expect.

In 2015 in the United States, the U.S. Guard had reports of over 4,000 accidents, with over 2,600 injuries and sadly 626 deaths. To make things worse, the causes of the accidents are especially alarming. Four of the five leading causes for the accidents involves some form of human error. Whether it was excessive speed, improper lookout, operator inexperience or operator inattention, looking at this from a broad perspective, it appears that many of these could have been prevented. Furthermore, it appears that alcohol often plays a role as well, accounting as the leading contributing factor in accidents, and played a role in at least 17 percent of accidents that involved a fatality.

Just as car drivers are responsible for their actions on the roads, drivers of boats are also held accountable if they have caused an accident. Any accident victim who is dealing with a personal injury as result of someone’s negligence may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. You may want to reach out to a personal injury lawyer to learn more about the laws and how to proceed.

Source: U.S. Coast Guard, “Recreational Boating Statistics, 2015,” Accessed May 22, 2017