South Carolina Boating Accident Statistics

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Your perfect day out on the water in your boat or watercraft can be interrupted at a moment’s notice. While boating accidents are rare, they are very serious and increasing in number. There is a high chance that you would be injured in a boating accident. If someone else was responsible for your injuries, they would be legally obligated to pay you compensation.

Call Trey Harrell Auto Accident & Personal Injury Attorney to learn more about your legal rights after a boating accident. Our Charleston boating accident lawyer is standing by to help.

There Are More Boaters and More Accidents in South Carolina

With many lakes, rivers and abundant coastline, South Carolina is an ideal state in which to own a boat.

Over 30% of the territory of the Palmetto State is water. People take advantage of the abundant opportunities and warm weather to enjoy time out on the water. Currently, there are over 500,000 registered boats and personal watercraft in the state. South Carolina ranks seventh in the entire country in terms of per capita boat ownership.

The large majority of boaters in the state are able to safely enjoy their boats as often as they want. However, other boaters do not always heed safety rules. Unfortunately, there are always boating accidents and fatalities in South Carolina every year.

The general trend is that serious boating accidents are increasing in South Carolina. The combination of more people owning boats and less respect for boating laws has raised the risk level for everyone on the water.

In 2018, there were 142 boating accidents in the state. Five years later, the number of boat incidents has risen by nearly 20% to 170. In addition, the number of boating accident fatalities has risen from 15 to 22. In 2021, the number of boat accidents peaked at 201. An average of 75 people each year are injured in boating accidents. Given the presence of the water, these injuries can be serious.

Common Causes of Boat Accidents in South Carolina

Causes of boat accidents include:

  • Inexperienced operators who are unfamiliar with how to drive a boat
  • Intoxication behind the wheel
  • Failure to pay attention to surroundings
  • Mechanical issues with the boat
  • Being on the water during inclement weather conditions
  • Excessive speed
  • Being caught in another boat’s wake

Consuming alcohol while boating makes life more dangerous for everyone else on the waterway. When you are enjoying your day on the water, and observing boating safety regulations, you have no control over what others may do on their watercraft. Their poor choices can put your life in danger and that of your passengers.

Alcohol can have the following effects on boat operators:

  • It removes inhibitions and causes operators to make riskier choices
  • Intoxicated people cannot see and perceive things in real-time
  • Alcohol slows reflexes and lessens balance and coordination

Further, being out on the water can magnify the effects of alcohol. The wind, motion and sun can make it easier for someone to become intoxicated on less alcohol.

Even when other passengers are drinking, the presence of intoxicated people can be distracting for the boat operator. Passengers can be loud and rowdy, taking the driver’s attention away from what they should be doing. No matter what, you are in danger when you are in close proximity to an intoxicated boater, and you will not even know it.

Safety Tips for Boating in South Carolina

You can never control what someone else does in their boat. All you can do is ensure that you are using best safety practices on your own.

Some boating safety tips include:

  • Always make sure that your boat is regularly inspected and any maintenance issues are promptly repaired.
  • Take boating safety courses and refresh your knowledge periodically.
  • Check the weather before you head out on the water, and do not go out if there is inclement weather in the forecast.
  • Be very careful when you are directly near other boaters because you do not know how well-trained the operators are.
  • Go through a pre-departure checklist before you leave the marina.
  • Have someone else on board who is trained to operate a boat and designate them to help when you are experiencing difficulties.
  • Ensure that a family member or friend knows that you are out on the water.
  • Do not ever consume alcohol before going out on the water or behind the wheel of the boat.

Boating safety depends on you. Familiarize yourself with potential dangers and do everything possible to minimize them or avoid them entirely.

Why You Need a South Carolina Boating Accident Lawyer

You are dealing with an insurance company in a boating accident claim or lawsuit. Every boater needs coverage, and the insurance company would defend them in a lawsuit. The insurance company is going to demand strict proof that their policyholder was to blame for the accident before they would even offer you anything. Then, when they make you a settlement offer, it would only be for a fraction of the value of your case.

Your lawyer is there to look out for your interests and protect your legal rights. Their job is to get you as much money as you deserve in a boating accident case. It is extremely hard to be successful on your own because the insurance company is bound and determined to take advantage of you.

Further, the last thing that you want to do after a boating accident is to have to deal with the insurance company. You have enough stress already without having the unpleasant experience of trying to get money from an insurance company.

Contact a Charleston Boating Accident Attorney Today

Trey Harrell Auto Accident & Personal Injury Attorney is the determined fighter that you need in your corner after you have been hurt. We will pursue compensation to the maximum extent possible. Insurance companies act differently when they see that you have a lawyer, especially one with a reputation for results like ours. Trey Helps.

Call us today at 843-636-8739 or send us a message online to schedule a free initial consultation. You owe us nothing unless we help you win your case.

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