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What Causes Most Boating Accidents?

With summer here, the roads are not the only place you want to be cautious. Whether you’re taking to the sea or a nearby lake on a boat, it’s vital to remain as safe as possible. Unfortunately, as safe as you may be operating your boat, you cannot predict how other boat drivers will be. As such, countless boating accidents occur, and you can take steps to protect your rights.

By knowing the common causes of boating accidents, you can pursue legal action. At Crane Flores, LLP, we know that Ventura County and Santa Barbara County—as well as all of Southern California—is a popular destination for boating. We want you to recognize some common causes of crashes to stay as safe as possible.

Some of the common causes of boating accidents include:

  • Operator inattention
  • Inexperience
  • Speeding
  • Drug and alcohol use

If you suffer an injury in a boating accident, call us at (805) 628-4967 today.

Operator Inattention

Like when someone’s driving on the road, boat operators must focus on what’s around them. A distracted boat operator is just as dangerous as a distracted driver. Looking at a cell phone, turning and looking at passengers, or any other distraction can lead to a significant crash.

Because waters can be unpredictable, operators should pay full attention or run the risk of crashing into another boat or losing control.


If a boat operator doesn’t have the necessary experience, they can cause a significant crash. There are laws and rules for boat operators to follow, and if the boat operator doesn’t know the basics, they can cause a crash. If someone is operating a boat, they should know:

  • Admiralty laws
  • Proper distancing
  • No wake zones
  • How to handle emergency situations

It’s not always the case, but oftentimes, inexperienced boat operators are dangerous boat operators.


While you may not find posted speed limits like you would on the road, you must recognize what speeds are safe for conditions. Speeding is very dangerous, especially if other boats are in the area. Even if you’re alone on the waters, if conditions make it more difficult to see or waters are choppy, you should adhere to safe speed limits.

Boaters also need to be aware of no-wake zones. In these zones, they have to slow down significantly to avoid creating a wake behind the boat. Many other boaters often frequent these areas, or there are people in the water. Speeding in this zone can cause significant damage to anyone nearby.

Drug and Alcohol Use

Like any vehicle operator, boat operators should avoid drug and alcohol use. Any intoxication can lead to impaired decision-making, vision impairment, and cognitive disabilities that can cause a severe crash. Unfortunately, boating is often associated with parties or gatherings, and it can lead to intoxication.

Intoxication and impairment also mean boat operators may not be able to make emergency decisions in time. For instance, if a boat is nearby and the intoxicated operator is heading right for the parked boat, they may be unable to move out of the way before causing a severe crash.

After a boating accident, you want someone on your side who can help you seek the compensation you deserve. Our boat accident attorneys proudly serve clients throughout Southern California, including Santa Barbara County, Oxnard, and Ventura County. We know boating and the negligence that can cause harm.

With Crane Flores, LLP on your side, you can feel peace of mind knowing we’ll work to hold negligence accountable, seeking the most favorable outcome possible. Let us be your voice against negligence, going above and beyond to safeguard your rights throughout the entire process.

We’re here for you every step of the way. Call us today at (805) 628-4967 for a free consultation.