If you or a loved one were involved in a boating accident in Missouri, you may be looking for more information on who is at fault and how to get compensation. In this post we explore boating accidents in the Ozarks.
With 1,150 miles of shoreline and one of the largest man-made lakes in the Midwest, you might not be super surprised that the Lake of the Ozarks is ranked as one of the most dangerous lakes in America, according to recent boating accident statistics kept by the U.S. Coast Guard. Lake of the Ozarks is a popular place to spend summer weekends. It seems like every year, the boat traffic increases. With more traffic comes the potential for more boating accidents. This is especially true when a large percentage of boaters are inexperienced and renting boats they’ve never driven.
Risks of Boating in the Ozarks
Another significant risk is that the Lake of the Ozarks attracts a large number of large boats that are built for speeds. With no speed limits or horsepower restrictions, these bigger boats can be worrisome when sharing the lake with smaller boats. Below are some other factors that contribute to many of the boating accidents on the Lake of the Ozarks.
Drinking while driving a boat is the number one factor causing boating accidents at the Lake of the Ozarks. There are many party coves, lakeside bars, and clubs located around the Lake of the Ozarks so drinking can get out of control. Paying extra attention to reckless drivers especially later in the afternoon or early evening on a summer day could save you from an alcohol related boating accident. Although there are drunk driving laws in place that govern those who drive boats, boaters don’t realize the effects that even small quantities of alcohol can make when boaters are dehydrated in the hot sun for several hours on the water.
On the wide open waters of the Lake of the Ozarks, it is not at all uncommon to see boats moving at very high speeds. The problem is made much worse by the fact that there are many areas where there is no speed limit. A boat driver going at a high speed is going to have less time to react to an unexpected obstacle such as a water-skier, tuber, jet ski-rider, or person swimming or fishing off the boat. High speeds also create more chance of boats colliding with one another.
The Lake of the Ozarks is full of inexperienced boaters. As more and more people flock to lakes as vacation spots, many people want to and can get out on the water without a boating license. Because of this, the Lake of the Ozarks proves to be a risky and challenging place to drive a boat. Inexperienced boaters may not understand rules and norms related to the right of way, passing, or docking. Many inexperienced boaters view boating as being very similar to driving a car. Inexperienced boaters may not know how to stop a boat, pivot, or even keep the boat in an idle position. When boater inexperience is combined with the other risk factors discussed above, it can end in catastrophe for both experienced and inexperienced drivers.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a boating accident, Contact Sticklen, Dreyer, & Tinney, the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri to get the compensation you deserve. You can get in touch with us on our website by filling out our contact form