Lake Michigan and Nearby Waters Experience 65 Boating Accidents in Past Decade

ILLINOIS- According to the, 14 people have been killed in boating accidents in Lake Michigan and other nearby waterways over the last ten years. Experts claim much of the problem stems from inexperienced boat operators being in control of boats and other watercraft.

Across the United States, there were 4,463 boating accidents in 2016. The rate of boat accidents has been on the rise in Illinois and across the country. The numbers from 2016 indicate an increase of 6.83% over the previous year. Nationally, boating accidents killed 701 people.

The leading cause of boating accidents was alcohol use. Inexperienced boaters and hazardous water were the next two leading causes.

Boating while under the influence is illegal. It is possible to get a DUI while operating a boat. This can lead to jail time and fines. However, the consequences can be far worse. One accident that occurred in Lake Michigan close to the East Chicago Marina left one man seriously injured and the other dead. The two had been drinking and drove their boat into a break wall. Based on estimates, the boat was going somewhere between 60 and 70 miles per hour when it crashed. The nighttime speed limit is 10 miles per hour.

Inexperience and hazardous water can also cause a deadly situation for boaters. In difficult situations, inexperienced boaters may not know how to use emergency equipment and tools.

Another problem is that because there are no requirements for operator training, it is possible for people to go out without knowing what they are doing, or to understand the rules regarding water traffic, including who has the right-of-way.

The U.S. Coast Guard also points out that it is vital for boaters to use life-jackets. Across the United States, 80% of boat related fatalities were drownings, and 83% of those killed did not wear life vests. Life vests are only effective if they are properly fittedto the wearer.

Of course, even with a life vest, if the water is cold, boaters can be putting themselves at risk.

While boating can be fun, it is important to know the rules and take safety precautions.

If you were injured in an accident, contact Stein & Shulman, LLC Today

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If you were injured in a vehicle accident in Illinois, contact Stein & Shulman, LLC, today to discuss your legal options with a skilled boat accident attorney. You can schedule a case consultation at no cost to you by calling our office at 312.422.0500.

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