Posts Tagged ‘outdoor sports’

Most Common Fatal Risks Faced By Outdoor Participants

Surprising causes behind the most common incidents

More than 305 million people visit U.S. national parks each year. The National Park Service reports an average of 160 visitor deaths annually. Those are pretty good statistics, but they could be lower. And the types of injuries and fatalities reported in these parks can happen to anyone in the great outdoors, whether hiking, camping or participating in outdoor sports.

The best way to avoid injuries in these settings is to plan and prepare well. Choose activities that match the experience and skills of everyone involved, Gather information about weather and the environment prior to setting out and ask about specific hazards in the area upon arrival at your destination.  And, of course, always follow the posted rules and regulations. Use of the buddy system can also go a long way in lowering the risk for injury or death: two sets of eyes and ears are better than one.

Below are six of the most common causes of injuries and death in the great outdoors:

  1. Drowning is the most common cause of death in national parks. Sadly, drowning while swimming incidents have increased every year, from 32 in 2007 to 59 in 2013. Boaters, kayakers and rafters also account for many drownings, while fewer than 10 resulted from rip currents.
  2. Vehicular accidents in national parks, surprisingly, account for the second most frequent cause of death in national parks. The National Park Service reported 143 fatalities between 2007and 2013, despite the lack of heavily trafficked roads. Reckless drivers exist everywhere. Six of the accidents involved bicyclists, seven involved pedestrians and 42 of those who died were on motorcycles.
  3. Severe weather conditions such as gusting winds and flash floods cause the fewest fatalities – only eight from 2007 to 2013. However, other environmental factors played a role in deaths. Exposure to cold or heat, avalanches, and rockslides are examples such causes of fatal incidents in the wilderness. Advance preparation and knowledge of existing hazards can prevent being caught in dangerous conditions.
  4. Slips/falls by hikers resulted in 169 deaths in national parks between 2007 and 2013. People falling over cliffs, from trees and rocks, over waterfalls and down slippery slopes are all too common incidents that can result in serious injury and death. Likewise, slipping in streams or on trails covered in wet leaves and brush are the cause of many injuries.
  5. Wildlife sightings are a big draw for visitors to parks and other outdoor areas. Unfortunately, the animals aren’t usually quite as enamored with their human visitors. The most common cause of death by wild animal is attack by grizzly bear. Other animals that commonly present a risk are mountain goats, boars and snakes.
  6. Poisoning by carbon monoxide, drugs, alcohol and toxic plants are very rare, but do occasionally occur.

Source: “How many people actually die in national parks?” 21 Oct. 2016

Fishing Liability Insurance

It can prevent anglers from being banned

Fishing Liability Insurance could be just the thing that keeps anglers from being banned from their favorite fishing spot.  So says Ken Maurer in his report, “Anglers Get Railroaded, Often by Stupidity.” Apparently the parking area/access point to a popular fishing spot on the Susquehanna River known as “The Poor House” is owned by Norfolk Southern.  Norfolk Southern has begun cracking down on trespassers, requesting police enforce fines for people trespassing on the property.

Norfolk Southern haRiver Fishings a point because of the claims that they must see come across the risk management desk.  However, there are compromises that can be made.  My suggestion would be for a representative from the fishing clubs to approach Norfolk Southern about using the property.  The clubs should have insurance policies, and the standard liability limits are $1 million per occurrence with a $2 million aggregate. These aren’t expensive policies and Norfolk Southern can be added as an additional insured on the policy.  Club members could also be required to sign waivers that could be kept on file.   Such agreements are common among those using the property of others, especially corporate or government owned.

Such an arrangement would also protect the club itself in the event of a lawsuit. Frivolous lawsuits happen every day and it often isn’t until after something has happened that outdoor clubs realize that they need coverage.

If you have questions about Fishing Liability Insurance, please call 800-622-7370.