Boating accidents can be dangerous and devastating, an require help from a boat accident attorney if something goes wrong. But the fact is that boat accidents can be easily prevented. Here are a few simple ways to make sure that you aren’t causing a boating accident during your next boat outing.
Stay Safe on the Water with these Boating Tips
- Avoid Alcohol
Just like with any vehicle, you should never boat while under the influence of alcohol. Besides the fact that it is against the law, boating and drinking is a sure way of increasing the chances of an accident occurring. In fact, boating while under the influence can increase the odds of death by 34%.
- Emergency Radio
Emergency radios are there for a reason: they will warn you of any unexpected complications, making you immediately aware when something could go wrong. People have died in crashes that could have been avoided, just because they had turned down their emergency radio that should have been playing crash warnings. Don’t let the same happen to you.
- Avoid Speeding
Just like speeding while driving a car, you can receive a ticket for speeding while boating. Make sure you know the laws and abide by them.
Don’t take any chances when it comes to maintaining your boat. If someone else is injured because of improper maintenance of your boat, you as the owner would be legally at fault and could even be charged and sued for negligence. Never take any others on the boat with you when you aren’t sure about your boat’s maintenance status.
- Life Jackets
Some states require life jackets, some don’t. Regardless of what state you live in, it’s always a good idea. If you are taking children age 12 or under, they must wear a life jacket. This is a U.S. Coast Guard law, so your location makes no difference there.
- Boat Capacity
Keep your boat at its posted weight capacity. Too many passengers and too much equipment or gear could have the same effect: capsizing or swamping. Avoid this by sticking to your boat’s capacity.
- Be Prepared
Even if you follow every rule in the book, emergencies could still happen to you. Besides proper maintenance of your equipment and boat, make sure that you actually have an emergency plan ready, just in case the worst should happen. Make sure you have the correct knowledge for using the emergency equipment on your boat. If you’re not sure, don’t go on the water.
Especially if you live in a place where the weather is prone to changing rapidly, you should always know the forecast for the day you will be on the water. If it looks questionable at all, don’t go. Getting caught boating when the weather turns sour is extremely dangerous and should be avoided.
- Educate yourself
The best way to really understand how to stay safe when boating is to enroll in a boating safety course. There are plenty out there – look online and sign up for one today. Boating can be enjoyed best if you are confident in your safety knowledge and abilities, and can just relax out on the water without worrying. If you have any additional questions you can always contact a lawyer specializing in boat accidents.