As the summer months hit, more and more people are hitting the roadways— and the waterways. In turn, boating accidents and injuries become much more prevalent. Ultimately, accidents do happen. But, many boating accidents are easily preventable if you follow a few rules. Most of them are quite obvious, but for the sake of safety, we’ll throw them out there one more time.
Rules to Avoid Boating Accidents and Stay Safe
Don’t Drink and Drive
Yes, I mean drive a boat. The U.S. Coast Guard has reported that Boating accidents are more fatal 34% of the time when you’re under the influence. You’re senses are dulled, and many people feel that being on the water rather than the road is less risky. However, there are still plenty of factors that can play into a crash— drinking while doing so just increases that.
Pay attention to that emergency radio
Every boat should have one, and it’s important not to mute it or turn it down. There are plenty of instances where that radio could have saved a life, or did save one because people were listening. One prevalent case came from Philly, where one duck boat company was on the wrong end of a wrongful death suit because they could not hear the crash warnings. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that laws are set in place for a reason— and so are your emergency radios.
Do proper maintenance on your boat
Keeping your boat in proper working condition can save a life if it comes down to it. Change the oil, check the propellor, clean it up. You want to make sure you’ve done your part before hitting the roadway, that way, in case of an accident— there is nothing you could have done to prevent it. Negligence can come with a pretty hefty charge if you’re facing a suit.
Mind the weather
If you’re out on a boat when a bad storm hits, it can be potentially deadly. Lightning could strike, your boat could overturn, someone could fall off, you could lose your sense of direction… There are plenty of potential downsides when it comes to boating during a storm. Not to mention, a ton of ways doing so could lead to boating accident or a fatality. Which brings us to our last point…
Always, Always, Always wear a lifejacket
Doing so is important for innumerous reasons. For instance, if you’re the one who is falling off the boat in that storm scenario— wearing a bright lifejacket could help them locate you, and wearing one at all could be a lifesaver if you end up on your own. Also, if you’re intoxicated and fall off the boat, are swimming, or just floating along. Or, say you jump off the boat and bump your head— the lifejacket will keep you floating.
We could discuss instances all day as to what could happen. It’s important to consider what could go wrong so that you have a plan of attack if it comes down to it. The summer months are a great time to get out and enjoy the weather in many different ways. But, practicing safe driving of every kind will ensure that you can continue to do so. We wish you luck and hope you enjoy this beautiful weather that’s coming our way!