Boating is a great pastime, especially in the summer when the weather is warm, but it can also be dangerous if you are not careful. With 87.3 million Americans participating in recreational boating activities, it is essential you remain safe and practice safe boating techniques. If you plan on having passengers in the boat, you want to be especially careful or you could find yourself dealing with a personal injury lawsuit.
There are numerous boating safety laws surrounding boating for pleasure. As the driver of the boat, it is your job to know the laws. This could be different for each state. Taking a boating safety class and getting your boating licence will help your knowledge of your state's laws. Additionally, it is good to practice some of these safe boating procedures that may not be state laws.
Get Proper Instruction
Many states require you to have a boating license in order to operate a boat. This is essential in order to understand how the boat works. It can also reduce the chance of having an accident. In fact, only 9% of all deaths that occurred on boating accidents included the operator having previous boating safety instruction. A lack of experience and little experience can increase the chance of getting into an accident.
Have Enough Life Jackets
Life jackets are essential any time you choose to get on a boat. Even if you choose not to wear one, you want to have enough life jackets on board so that everyone has one. Not only is having one important, but you want to make sure it is the right size. In 2010 alone, out of 72% of deadly boating accidents, 88% of the victims were not wearing a life jacket, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Even experienced swimmers could end up drowning in a boating accident if they choose not to wear a life jacket.
Watch Your Alcohol Intake
Consuming alcohol and operating a boat can be very dangerous. Just as you have a set limit on how much you can consume when operating a car, the same is true for a boat. You want to make sure you are not consuming too much alcohol that would cause you to get a DUI. There are safety officers patrolling the waters that will check to make sure you are not operating a boat while intoxicated. Alcohol is known to blur your judgement and can cause you to make a simple mistake that could cost someone their life. Contact a personal injury lawyer for more info.