As this year’s boating season passes its peak and begins to come to a close, Allstate Insurance has identified the most common forms of boating accident and has released tips for boaters to avoid making common errors that can lead to damage to their vehicles.
The Coast Guard is reminding boaters to remain vigilant, but is already celebrating a notable drop in the number of accidents and fatalities. For example, a recent report showed that accidents have been falling over the years, as there were 4730 reported in 2009, but 4604 in 2010. In terms of fatalities, 2010 saw a record low at 672.
Data collected by Allstate has allowed the insurer to identify the most common cause of boating accidents. They are: running the vehicle aground and striking objects submerged under the water, such as rocks. In fact, in 2010, this type of accident made up two thirds of all of the boating claims made to Allstate.
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In the effort to help to reduce the number of avoidable accidents, Allstate has released a series of videos on YouTube (at youtube.com/allstatenews) that demonstrate tips and techniques that help boaters to keep their vehicles clear of accidents, such as the following:
• Check your boat before casting off, testing elements such as the lights, gauges, steering, radio, fuel level, anchor, and bilge pump.
• Use charts and a depth-finder to avoid running aground.
• Keep appropriate safety equipment on board, such as a dinghy, PFDs (enough to fit every passenger), a flashlight, a first aid kit, flares, a fire extinguisher, and an air horn.
• Tell someone on shore about your float plan
• Know the way the boat handles and how the controls function to avoid surprises when they’re needed with any speed or accuracy.
• Check the weather forecast regularly
• Obtain adequate insurance.