Most people are aware of the dangers surrounding distracted driving. Cars are now designed with the latest technology in their dashboards, including touch-screens and even texting and email. With so many tempting distractions at motorists’ fingertips, crashes caused by distracted driving are higher than ever.
Like motorists, boaters face a variety of safety issues that can accompany the use of electronics or handheld devices. Distracted boating is a lesser-known issue that can still pose serious risks, including accidents that result in catastrophic injuries or even fatalities. And according to new research, accidents caused by distracted boating may also be on the rise.
New data out of Minnesota shows that distracted boating has contributed to a worrying increase in boating accidents. According to the state’s Department of Natural Resources, boating accidents in 2017 climbed to a ten-year high. The department believes that the spike may be caused by the use of handheld devices and other technology while boating.
Many boaters attempt to operate their boat while also using smartphones or other handheld technology. Boats can also include built-in technology that can provide a bevy of distractions. Newer models of boats can include technology like GPS and solar and radar screens.
Louisiana’s boating statistics mirror those of our northern neighbor. Last year, boating accidents increased by nearly 30 percent even though the number of registered boats in the state went down slightly. This should be a cause of concern for any residents who enjoy taking their boat onto our state’s beautiful waters.
How to handle distracted boating accidents
It is unfair that people who operate their boats safely should be at risk of injury from distracted boaters. Boating accidents that are caused by technology-related distractions may be cause for a lawsuit. Anyone who is in an accident caused by distracted boating is encouraged to contact a Louisiana-based personal injury attorney.