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Which boat has the right of way when two or more encounter each other on the water?

| Apr 29, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Many boating accidents happen simply because one person does not understand which boat has the right of way. This can lead to serious mistakes, and everyone may honestly be confused about who was at fault after an accident. 

As such, it is critical to understand who has the right of way and how you should react when you approach another watercraft — or when one approaches you. Below are three key factors to keep in mind. 

You have the right of way when you’re in front

You do not have to change your course for a boat that comes up behind you. Likewise, if you approach another boat from the stern, they have the right of way. 

You have the right of way if the boat is to your left

When a boat gets closer to you or moves to cross in front of you, you still have the right of way when they’re on your port side. You don’t have to alter your course, but they should turn to pass behind you if it’s too close. 

The other craft has the right of way if they’re on your right

If the other boat is on your starboard side, however, then they have the right of way. You may have to alter your course, slow down or speed up to make sure that there is not a collision. 

What can you do after an accident?

If another boater makes a mistake and you get injured, you need to know what options you have. You may be able to seek financial compensation for your injuries and other damages. Working with an experienced attorney is wise.