If you are out boating on the Lake of the Ozarks this summer, there is always a chance you witness or are involved in some kind of incident.
While the water can be great fun, there are inherent dangers that some people are not aware of. Add thousands of boaters of differing experience levels into the mix, and you can see the risk for problems is high.
If something does occur, who has responsibility for dealing with it?
The Missouri State Highway Patrol handles the job
Despite the name, their remit is not confined to the roads. It makes sense in some ways because boating accidents often happen due to the same factors as those on the road:
- Alcohol and drugs: A drunk driver is a drunk driver, no matter what vehicle they are in charge of. Someone drunk in charge of a speedboat can do just as much damage as someone drunk at the wheel of a car. The same applies to drugs.
- Inexperience: It takes skill to drive a boat, and as with a car, some inexperienced drivers believe they have more skill than they actually do. Plus, experience on the water allows you to predict how water conditions will change with the weather.
- Failing to obey the laws: People speed, drive recklessly, ignore rights of way and all sorts of other things that create chaos and increase the risk of a collision.
The Highway Patrol is there to keep people safe, and if you witness people acting dangerously on the water, you have a right to let the patrol know. If someone injures you in a boating accident, call 911, and the patrol should be along to help out. You can then get legal help to examine their report in your quest for compensation.