While many Americans enjoy being out on the water during the warm summer
months, boating accidents remain a point of concern. The most recent
Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics Report says 701 people died in boating accidents in 2016—a 12 percent increase
over the previous year. The following boating accident prevention guide
can help you stay safe on the water.
Keep your boat properly maintained. Perform regular safety checks on the throttle, steering, cabling and fuel
lines so you don’t lose control of your craft or wind up stranded.
Keep safety equipment aboard. Make sure your boat is equipped with life preservers, emergency supplies,
a first aid kit and the proper number of life jackets. Make sure anyone
aboard wears a life jacket.
Watch the weather. Storms can turn severe quickly over the water, putting your craft, your
passengers and you in danger. Never go out on the water without knowing
the forecast, and check latest weather conditions periodically.
Avoid alcohol consumption. Drinking not only impairs your ability to pilot the boat (the same as driving
a car), but when your passengers use alcohol on the water, they can either
become dehydrated or lose their sense of balance, increasing their risk
of falling overboard. (Check out our post
here for more on this topic.)
Know your boat’s weight limit and don’t exceed it. You might be tempted to bring lots of people on board for a summer party,
but an overloaded watercraft increases the risk of capsizing.
Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys
can help if you have been injured wrongfully in a boating accident or
other vehicular accident. Please contact us for more information