Whenever the summer becomes visible at the end of the tunnel leading from winter and spring, most people start getting their beach, lake and reservoir trip plans in line. One of the most exciting things to enjoy while on the water is boating. Heading out on a boat allows people to sit back and relax in between fishing, snorkeling or just sitting back with one’s friends. It’s important to note, however, that there are some dangers inherent to the activity. Luckily, many of these can be avoided by simply taking a few proactive steps.
While enjoying a beer is part of most people’s “fun at the lake” experience, it’s important not to go overboard. Statistics have shown that boaters with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .10 percent or more, which is only .02 percent higher than the legal driving limit, face the risk of dying in a boating accident at a rate that’s 10 times higher than boaters with no alcohol in their system. This, forgive the pun, sobering statistic makes it obvious why a boater should hold off on becoming inebriated until they’re back on land or not manning the boat.
Don’t forget Life Jackets
While they may not seem like the coolest things in the world, life jackets really do save lives. As a matter of fact, the U.S. Coast Guard actually compiled a list in a report, known as Boating Statistics 2011, showing that 84 percent of those who drowned in boating incidents that year were not wearing a life jacket.
Additionally, 70 percent of all boating fatalities occurred due to drowning. This is not a fluke or a random spike in numbers; this is a direct correlation. As www.maryland-injury-lawyer.com points out, “With modern safety precautions and the advent of new equipment that helps keep the drivers and passengers safe, many of the boat accidents that happen on our waters are avoidable and unnecessary.”
Watch for other Boaters
The big problem with boating is that there’s really no parallel to the “rules of the road” everyone knows. There usually aren’t lanes, speed limit signs or anything else to control the flow of “traffic.” This can lead to serious multi-boat collisions. The majority of boating accidents are caused by operator inexperience and inattention, and when more than one boat is in an area, this can be dangerous for all. Staying alerted to what other boaters are doing is imperative.
Even if a person is highly experienced, another inexperienced or negligent boater can force them into a dangerous accident. If this does happen, a boater’s main recourse is to hire a personal injury attorney in the hopes of being reimbursed for the damage to their boat and the medical bills that are highly likely to be forthcoming. After getting medical attention and reporting the wreck, seeking legal advice is the next most vital step after a boating injury.
There’s no doubt that boating is fun, but it’s imperative to stay safe as well. The aforementioned statistics make it blatantly obvious why safety measures need to be taken, and those who don’t take these measures are putting themselves and possibly their friends and family at risk. Thankfully, these steps really aren’t too difficult. This means that, without putting themselves out much, everyone can enjoy fun boating activities and make it home in one piece afterwards.