Originally used by the U.S. military during the second world war as a way to transport supplies and troops, today, duck boats are used to offer rides to tourists in cities in the U.S., including Boston. But while riding on a duck boat–which gets its name from its ability to function on both land and water, much like a duck–may be a novelty, these boats have been involved in a string of accidents, some of which have led to passenger fatalities. These incidents have raised questions about duck boats’ safety and purpose, and have even led some critics to refer to the boats as “deathtraps.”
Duck Boats Involved in Accidents in Multiple States
As reported by CBS News, there have now been more than 40 deaths associated with duck boat tourist rides. Some of the most serious of duck boat accidents include:
– The capsize of a duck boat on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, leading to the death of 17 people.
– The 1999 death of 13 people following the sinking of a duck boat in Hot Springs, Arizona.
– When a duck boat in Philadelphia was hit by a barge in 2010, leading to two deaths. Another crash took place in Philadelphia in 2016.
– The 2015 incident in Seattle that involved the collision of a duck boat with a bus of students, leading to five fatalities and 69 injuries.
– Two duck boat crashes in Boston, including a 2016 accident that left a female scooterist dead.
Top Causes of Duck Boat Accidents
The cited causes of the duck boat accidents listed above vary widely, and include issues such as mechanical failures, poor weather, a lack of safety infrastructure within the duck boats (like seatbelts), improper maintenance, operator distraction, and unclear safety regulations, as the boats are regulated by numerous agencies. Further, note that these accidents occur on both land and in water, which means all of the standard causes of motor vehicle accidents, such as traveling too fast for conditions, are applicable, too. In addition, duck boat touring companies have also been criticized as putting profits over people’s lives, unconscionably operating the boats even when severe weather conditions are possible or other dangerous circumstances exist.
Our Boston Car Accident Lawyers Can Represent You Following a Duck Boat Accident
Duck boats provide a unique way to see a city, and in Boston, duck boats are common – in fact, the champion tradition of the Red Sox in the city is to climb aboard a duck boat for a parade. But duck boats, as fun as they may be, also pose risks to those who ride them and those on the road otherwise, including occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and scooterists.
If you have been involved in an accident with a duck boat, don’t hesitate to call our Boston car accident lawyers at the office of Tetzel Law, LLC. We offer free consultations for all accident and injury case, and are happy to start working on your case immediately. You can reach us by phone at 617-973-3858 or send us a message using the contact form on our website and we will be in touch shortly.