New Hampshire residents love to enjoy boating on our lakes and in the Atlantic Ocean. Boating can be dangerous for boat drivers and passengers alike. Making just a few poor decisions can result in the death of a loved one and severe lifelong consequences. In the summer of 2008, a New Hampshire woman crashed a boat, causing the death of her best friend.
The woman had been drinking throughout the night when she crashed her boat into Sleeper’s Island. Police officers estimated that her blood alcohol percentage was at .15%, nearly double the legal limit. A jury convicted the woman of negligent homicide.
Common Causes of New Hampshire Boating Accidents
Another person’s negligence causes many boat accidents. There is always a cause behind a boat accident. Even when the operator of the boat does not intend to cause a crash when his or her negligence caused the accident, he or she may be liable. Common causes of boating accidents include the following:
- Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Defective boat or watercraft designs
- Using the boat at excessive speeds
- Failure to slow down while going over wakes or waves
- Failure to signal and display lights appropriately
- Operating the boat while distracted
- Failure to take necessary safety measures
- Failure to properly maintain the boat
- Continuing to use a boat in poor or dangerous weather conditions
Many boating accidents happen as a result of negligent behavior. Operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a significant cause of boating accidents. Distracted boating, like distracted driving, is another perilous cause of boating accidents. The boat operator is not always at fault and liable for injuries caused by the boating accident, however.
Boat maintenance facilities may be liable for making faulty repairs that cause an accident. Or, if the manufacturer of the boat used a defective design or manufactured the boat unsafely, the manufacturer or retailer could be liable.
Common Boating Accident Injuries
Boat operators and passengers are at a higher risk of injuries than those involved in motor vehicle accidents. Traumatic brain injuries can occur when the driver or passenger’s head strikes the boat or a hard object in the boat when a collision happens. When the force of the collision throws the drivers or passengers from the boat, they can receive a brain injury from hitting their head hard on the surface of the water.
Broken bones, lacerations, and limb injuries are also common in boat accidents. Many people do not realize that at high speeds, the surface tension of water can cause broken bones and other damages. Additionally, many boat injuries involve people striking boat propellers during the accident.