The Most Common Causes of Arizona Drowning Accidents
Of all states, Arizona’s drowning fatality rate of 1.5 per 100,000 people makes it the seventh most dangerous state in America to swim in. While this only translates to less than a thousand fatalities a year, significantly more serious injuries are sustained in the process, many of which require admission to an emergency room and could cause lifelong cognitive impairments.
Poor Decisions by the Swimmer
Swimming is a fundamentally dangerous, physically intensive activity that demands coordination, stamina, and experience from all who partake in it. As such, many drowning accidents are caused by the swimmer themselves and the poor decisions they might make:
- Having insufficient swimming ability. It goes without saying that drowning is most frequent among those who are unable to swim; when adults and children alike choose to engage in water-based activities without formal swim classes or training, they take on a severe risk of drowning. However, note that even individuals who can swim often overestimate their own swimming ability, which can lead to drowning accidents in much the same way; swimming in natural bodies of water, diving, or otherwise overestimating one’s own stamina and ability are easy ways to end up choking on water.
- Failing to wear a life jacket. The vast majority (~90%) of Arizona’s boating deaths involve victims who didn’t wear a life jacket, but failing to wear a life jacket in other contexts can be just as dangerous as well. In general, when around or in any natural body of water, whether lake or ocean, you should wear a life jacket, even if you’re an able swimmer. Between tides, witness population, weather conditions, and other concerns, it’s impossible to estimate how long you’ll be in the water for should you fall in; as such, even experienced swimmers with plenty of stamina might tire themselves out and drown without a life jacket.
- Alcohol impairment. Alcohol plays a key role in drowning fatalities, accounting for approximately 70% of all water-related deaths among adolescents and adults; alcohol impairment interferes with your ability to judge your own swimming ability, makes you more likely to act recklessly and endanger the lives of yourself and others, and also directly diminishes your motor control and ability to swim effectively.
Lack of Supervision
While simple negligence and recklessness on the behalf of the swimmer themselves is a leading cause of drowning accidents among mature individuals, lack of supervision is responsible for most of the injuries and deaths sustained by children in Arizona drowning accidents. At pools and beachsides, this can be accounted for by a lack of trained, attentive lifeguards; however, most children drown in at-home pools and other unregulated swimming spots. Always keep a close eye on children when they swim, and install a locked, four-sided fence around your pool to keep them out of the water while unattended. Remember, preventing drowning in Arizona is as much the duty of those watching as it is of swimmers themselves.
Getting Compensation for Arizona Drowning Accidents
If you or a loved one was hurt or killed in a water-related incident in Arizona, it’s vital that you talk to a drowning accident attorney in Phoenix before accepting any type of settlement. ELG can help you prove that a property owner or other individual is responsible, giving you the opportunity to receive extensive compensation for all of your bills and mental trauma. Call us today at (623) 877-3600 and schedule a free consultation with a legal professional who cares.