Boating is a popular pastime in Florida. Unfortunately, the large volume of boats on the water increases the likelihood of a boat accident occurring. According to Statista, Florida has the highest number of boat accidents per year. 2559 injuries occurred as a result of boating accidents in 2019, and there were 613 fatalities. The key to preventing boating accidents is safety. Here are 5 tips that’ll keep you and your loved ones safer.
Tip 1: Keep Tabs on Your Gas
Running out of gas isn’t a major problem when you’re driving a car. You simply call a vehicle servicer to help you to get back on the road. But running out of gas presents a major risk when you’re boating in Florida. You could end up stranded in unknown waters. Plus, unseen currents could carry your boat even further away from the shore. Make sure you have enough gas for the day before you head out. Best practice is to always have at least 10% more gas than you think you’ll need. This ensures you’ll have enough, especially if an unexpected situation arises.
Tip 2: Wear Your Lifejacket
Always wear your life jacket, even if you’re a strong swimmer. You have them for a reason. Boating accidents are unpredictable, and injuries can occur in the blink of an eye. Wearing your life jacket ensures that if you sustain an injury and find yourself overboard, you don’t potentially succumb to drowning.
Tip 3: Be Thorough with Maintenance
Like cars, boats are made of thousands of moving parts. Conduct throughout checks on every mechanical aspect before you head out. If something doesn’t seem right, don’t risk it. Make sure you have a working radio on the boat at all times as well.
Tip 4: Conduct a Safety Briefing
While you may be an experienced boater, you can’t guarantee that the people you take with you share that same level of experience. Always conduct a safety briefing before you take anybody out on your boat. Ensure they have their own lifejackets and help them to understand the rules they must follow to stay safe.
Tip 5: Maintain a Safe Speed
Full-speed boating presents problems, regardless of the weather conditions. Know the speed limits on the Florida waterways. The faster you’re moving, the less time you have to react to obstacles. Bad weather and low-light conditions compound this problem. Don’t go faster than necessary when you’re on the water.
Contact Fetterman & Associates If You’re Involved in a Boating Accident
Even by following the tips outlined here, there’s no surefire guarantee that you won’t wind up in a boat accident. Other boaters may not follow this advice, which puts you at risk. The Fetterman & Associates Law Team can help you if a boating accident has affected you or a loved one. Contact us today at 561-845-2510 to arrange a free consultation and to discuss your options.