The Rocky Mountains make Colorado one of the leading states for outdoor recreational activities. Unfortunately, thousands of people are injured in recreational accidents every year. Some of the most common recreational activities in Colorado include:
- Water Skiing
- Riding ATVs
- Organized sports
Boating Accidents in Colorado
People associate boating with good times. While most boating trips on a river, a reservoir or a lake in Colorado create positive memories for all involved, some people do become victims of serious boating accidents. In 2012, 64 boating accidents were reported. There were 36 injuries and nine fatalities that year, according to the Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
The top three causes of boat accidents:
- Alcohol and/or drug use
- Careless or reckless operation
- Operator inexperience
The top three most common types of boating accidents:
- Collision with a vessel
- Flooding or swamping
- Skier mishap
Colorado Boating Statutes and Regulations
Many accidents could be prevented if boaters were more knowledgeable. That’s why all boaters should be familiar with the state of Colorado’s boating statutes and regulations. The state has created many important rules and regulations for people to follow when they set out on a boating trip. There are also consequences for violating the rules.
Alcohol and/or drug use
Just like driving a car while drunk is illegal, it’s against the law to operate a boat while under the influence. Boaters can be found guilty of a misdemeanor for operating with a blood alcohol content of greater than .08 percent. If you plan to go boating, make sure there is a designated sober operated.
Careless operation of a boat
You must operate your boat in a safe manner. Accidents can happen when a boat is moving at excessive speed or the boater is weaving through vessel traffic. How fast is too fast? The state’s boating statutes and regulations state that following:
“Operating at such a speed and proximity to another vessel so as to require the operator of either vessel to abruptly swerve or to abruptly cut speed in order to avoid collision.”
If you are found to be operating a boat in a reckless manner, you may be found guilty of a misdemeanor.
Operator inexperience is linked to more than 60 percent of all accidents. These accidents involve boaters with less than 10 hours of experience with their vessel. Of course, every boater starts out as an inexperienced boater, but you can reduce your risk of accident by enrolling in a boating safety course. You also can operate your boat with someone more experience until you feel confident enough to handle any situation while on the water.
Any number of factors might contribute to a boating or personal watercraft accident. The following are some of other types of accidents or causes of accidents on Colorado waterways:
- Collisions with recreational boats
- Crashing into the dock
- Water skier injured by propellers
- Passenger fell overboard
- Defective boat or jet ski
- Malfunctioning life vests
- Not enough life jackets
- Faulty radio or emergency flares
- Drunk or reckless passengers
- Leaky boat capsized
- Slamming into wakes too hard
- No lifesaver buoys on board
“How can a Colorado recreational accident attorney help me?”
Many people think that signing a waiver of liability prevents them from seeking full and fair financial recovery in the event of an injury. That’s not always true. Recreational companies and organizers of ev