Being out on the water in a boat with friends is a great way to spend time. But, just like driving a car, operating a boat should be done with mindfulness and care for the safety of yourself and your passengers.
Every year, the US Coast Guard’s Recreational Boating Statistics Guide looks at the main contributing factors to boat accidents. Prevent a personal injury law Houston TX issue by following these five things you can do to help avoid a boat accident:
1. Pay Attention
There can be many distractions when you’re on the water. Boats and jet skis zigzagging all over, and swimmers, buoys, floating debris, power lines and bridge clearances all posing hazards. The most important thing you can do when operating your vessel is to pay attention to where you’re going and what other boats or people are doing around you.
2. Get a Second in Command
When possible, ask someone else on the board to serve as a second pair of eyes to watch for potential hazards.
3. Take a Class
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 81% of boating fatalities occurred on boats where the driver wasn’t properly trained. Several organizations offer boating safety classes where you can learn the skills needed to take the helm.
4. Slow Down
There are speed limits on lakes and rivers, just as there are on roads. Many waterways have no-wake zones where boaters have to slow down to the slowest speed, so their vessels create a minimal wake.
5. Don’t Drink and Drive
Operating a boat while intoxicated can have just as deadly consequences as driving a vehicle under the influence. Every year many people die because of alcohol-related boating accidents.
By making sure to follow these simple steps, you and your passengers can have fun on the water while staying safe.