In 2014, Lake Conroe was named the deadliest lake in Texas. From 2000 to 2014, 22 deaths were attributed to boating-related incidents on Lake Conroe. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, alcohol was a factor in many of those deaths. Injury causing and fatal boating incidents due to negligence, alcohol use and other factors related to operator error are 100 percent preventable. If you or somebody you love has been injured in a boating accident on Lake Conroe, you need to speak with a Conroe boating accident attorney as soon as possible about your case.
Texas Boating-Related Statistics
- In 2013, there were 582,478 registered boats in Texas.
- There were 206 boating-related incidents in 2013.
- There were 85 people injured in those incidents.
- In 2013, 22 people lost their lives in boating-related incidents.
Boating Accident Liability and Negligence
Boating negligence can occur any time operators or vessel owners aren’t complying with safety regulations in the Texas Water Safety Act. If a boat operator is intoxicated or fails to have the required safety gear onboard, he or she is being negligent. If that person’s negligence contributes to an accident that you were injured in, he or she may be held liable for their actions or negligent inaction.
Texas Water Safety Act
The Texas Water Safety Act is a collection of laws that regulate boating in the state. These regulations include information on safety equipment requirements, boat registration and operator regulations. Listed below are just a few of the rules found in the Texas Water Safety Act.
- Boater education training is recommended for all boat operators and required for those persons born on or after September 1, 1993.
- Children under 13 are specifically prohibited from operating a Personal Watercraft (PWC), which can include jet skis and wet bikes, unless accompanied on board by a person at least 18 years of age who can lawfully operate the PWC.
- All children under 13 years of age in all vessels under 26 feet in length must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable personal flotation device (PFD) while underway.
- All vessels, including canoes, paddle craft and kayaks, must be equipped with one Type I, II, II or V wearable PFD for each person on board.
- Vessels 16 feet and longer, excluding canoes and kayaks, are required to be equipped with one Type IV throwable PFD in addition to the Type I, II, II or V PFD required for each person on board.
- No person may operate or give permission for the operation of a vessel that is not provided with the required safety equipment.
Boat Accident Investigation
After a boating accident that results in injuries, property damage in excess of $2,000 or death, initial reports must be filed with a local law enforcement agency or the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In many cases, it takes the persistent determination of an experienced law firm to get to the bottom of what went wrong in a boating accident. It’s essential to have a lawyer with comprehensive knowledge of Texas boating laws and the Water Safety Act on your side. It will be critical to determine if the boat operator or owner was failing to comply with any of those necessary and potentially-life saving regulations at the time of the incident. Your Conroe boating accident attorney can keep you up to date on any investigative developments as you recover from your injuries and begin to put your life back together.
Operator Error in Boating Accidents
Operator error, in one form or another, is one of the major contributing factors in many boating accidents. Operator inattention, or distracted boating, can cause injury causing and fatal accidents. Excessive speed or alcohol use by the operator can also put lives at risk. Other common causes of boating accidents are operator inexperience or unqualified people driving the boat. Finally, reckless or aggressive boating also puts lives at risk.
2014 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistics
- Nationwide, 610 people died in boating-related incidents.
- There were 2,678 reported injuries in 2014.
- Alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in fatal boating incidents.
- It was listed as the leading factor in 21 percent of boating-related deaths.
- Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed and alcohol use ranked as the top five primary contributing factors in boating incidents.
After a Boating Accident on Lake Conroe
After any type of boating accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your case. Your Conroe boating accident attorney can be your advocate and help to ensure you get the compensation you deserve after an accident. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a boating accident on Lake Conroe or another lake, contact a Conroe boating accident attorney the Scott Law Firm at (936) 270-8100 for a free case consultation.