Although many Floridians enjoy the beach throughout the year, the spring and summer bring warmer weather that draws more people toward the water. Given that summer vacations are right around the corner, it is important to consider boating accident prevention and ways of staying safe on the water. Whether you own your own boat or plan to go boating with friends or family members, boat accidents can result in serious and even fatal injuries. However, almost all boating accidents are preventable if you take safety precautions.
An article in Boating Magazine discusses some important safety tips for avoiding common boating accidents.
- Always Wear a Life Jacket
While wearing a life jacket might not sound pleasant while boating in the Florida sun, it is the best way to avoid a drowning accident if you fall overboard. Even if you fall overboard and can swim, you could hit your head and “know yourself unconscious.” In such a situation, even the best swimmers could be at risk of a devastating drowning accident. Life jackets are particularly important for solo boaters given that you will not have any passengers on board to help in case you do fall overboard.
- Know How to Deal With a Boat Fire
Boat fires, in general, are rare. However, if you are on an older boat, or if people are smoking on board, or if there is a fuel leak, a fire could start. If you see any signs of fuel leakage, do not start your engine. You should also have fire extinguishers on any boat to put out both fuel-related fires and electrical fires.
- Do Not Speed
Speeding in a boat, especially at night, is one of the most common reasons for serious boating accidents. No matter what time of day you are boating, you should only travel at safe speeds. However, this warning is particularly important after dark if you want to avoid a potentially deadly crash.
- Always Have Property Safety Gear on the Boat
Not only should you have a life jacket to fit every passenger—from children to adults—but you should also have other safety gear and materials like flares, running lights, a horn, an anchor, and a paddle.
- Never Go Boating If the Weather Could Be Dangerous
Check NOAA weather forecasts before you go boating, and absolutely avoid leaving the dock if you see any signs of lighting or waterspouts.
- Never Drink Alcohol While You Are Boating
Alcohol is extremely dangerous, whether you are driving a car or a boat. Drunk or intoxicated boating can result in a devastating crash that could cause injury to yourself and to others. Wait until you are back on shore to pour drinks or to open a beer.
Contact a Boca Raton Boating Accident Attorney
Were you injured in a recent boating accident? You may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. Boating accidents are especially frequent in Florida, given the easy access to beaches and other waterways. However, a majority of boat accidents occur because of another party’s negligence. An experienced West Palm Beach boating accident lawyer can discuss your case with you today and can talk about your options for seeking compensation. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC for more information.