North Carolina boating accidents common on Lake Norman, elsewhere

Lake Norman is growing vastly more popular with each passing day, which can only mean the risk of a boating accident in North Carolina is also increasing every day. Charlotte accident attorneys want to remind boaters to use caution on overcrowded waterways in order to prevent a collision.

Fox Charlotte reports that North Carolina is ranked in the Top 10 when it comes to boating accidents and fatalities each year. More than 75 million Americans went boating throughout the country in 2010. North Carolina ranks ninth in boating accidents, ninth in boating injuries and seventh in boating fatalities.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission reported more than 368,000 registered boaters in 2009. There were 154 boating accidents and 21 fatalities in our state in 2009. The 21 deaths marked the second highest year since 2005. From 2000 to 2009, the average number of boating accidents in North Carolina each year was 177.

Operating under the influence of alcohol, lack of training and speeding are primary causes of boating accidents. It is estimated that half of all boating accidents are alcohol-related. Boat patrols will be in full force during the summer months to help reduce the number of incidents that occur from alcohol or driving too fast. There are six law enforcement agencies that patrol Lake Norman, including two full-time officers from Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.

North Carolina Wildlife Officers have the prerogative to stop a vessel at any time for violations or safety checks as authorized by N.C.G.S. 75A. Patrol officers scan over 5,000 square miles of water bodies in North Carolina in order to preserve the safety of all who participate in watercraft activities.

NCWRC offers the following safety requirements and reminders to boaters this summer:

-Don’t drink and drive on the road or on the water. The legal limit for driver intoxication on both the roads and water is .08.

-Boater fatigue can increase the effects of alcohol up to three times in some individuals. The causes of boater fatigue include vibrations, wind, heat, motor noise, waves and sun glare.

-Enroll and pass a boater’s safety course in order to obtain a certification card. The WRC provides the course for free. Boating safety education requirements must be met by anyone younger than 26 driving a 10-horsepower or greater motor boat on a public waterway.

-U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vests must be worn by children 12 and under when riding on a moving vessel. Type I, II, or III personal flotation devices are required by both state and federal law to be on board a recreational vessel.

-Provide a Float Plan to a reliable person before pushing away from shore.

-Check your vessel and do routine maintenance checks before each boat excursion.

To enroll or check availability for boating safety education courses, click to view or call 1-919-707-0031.

If you have been seriously injured in a boating accident in North Carolina, be advised of your rights by contacting the Lee Law Offices, P.A. We fight for the compensation you deserve, so call 1-800-887-1965 for a free no-obligation appointment today.

More Blog Entries:
North Carolina Boating Accidents a High Risk for Injury During Summer Watercraft Season, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 9, 2011

Tourists’ Injuries and Illnesses a Risk on Cruise Ships Departing from North or South Carolina, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 21, 2011

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