Like car accidents, most boat accidents could be prevented. The problem is just that one of the operators involved makes a mistake and causes a crash. There are outside factors that contribute — storms, rogue waves, etc. — but it could be argued that even some of these accidents could have been prevented if the operators knew what warning signs to look out for.

In any case, if you want to know why these accidents take place, here at the top 10 reasons experts have found:

  1. Operator inattention
  2. Keeping an improper lookout
  3. Operator inexperience
  4. Excessive speed
  5. Mechanical failure
  6. Alcohol consumption
  7. Water hazards
  8. Weather hazards
  9. Breaking the basic rules of the road
  10. Waves and/or the force of a boat’s wake

One other thing to keep in mind is the time of day that these accidents take place. Afternoon sees the most dangerous events, particularly from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. While many different factors could play into this, one reason is likely alcohol use. There may be more boats out earlier in the day, but many people do not start drinking until after lunch.

Of course, as the top reasons for crashes show, many accidents occur even without alcohol playing a role at all. The sheer amount of people on the water does make a difference, showing why there are few accidents early in the morning.

Have you been injured on a boat? Maybe you were on the water for work or for leisure. Either way, after an accident takes place, you need to make sure you understand the rights you have under maritime law.