Personal watercrafts, or jet skis as they are commonly known, can be a lot of fun. However, before you hop on to a jet ski and speed away at up to 75 miles per hour, pause for a moment to consider the risks involved, and how you can best make sure you stay safe.
According to the Boating Accidents Statistical Report compiled by the Division of Law Enforcement at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the single most common type of Jet Ski accident by a large margin in 2011 in Florida was collisions with other vessels. The two most common causes of accidents, again by a large margin, were inattention, followed by operator inexperience. Broken bones, head injuries and back injuries were among the most common injuries from Florida jet ski accidents.
3 tips for staying safe
Under Florida law, if you are operating a jet ski, you are subject to a number of rules regulating how and when you can ride it.
- Life jacket. It may sound obvious, but life jackets save lives. Every person riding a jet ski should wear a life jacket, and in Florida, you are required to wear a non-inflatable life jacket approved by the US Coast Guard.
- Hours of operation. There are no streetlights in the ocean. Only use your jet ski while there is natural light, between one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset.
- Boating safety course. Operating a jet ski is not as straightforward as it looks, and inexperience can cost lives and limbs. If you were born after 1988, the law requires you to complete a course before operating a jet ski, but even if you are not obligated, it can help reduce the risk of accidents and reduce your insurance costs.
Make sure you stay safe while enjoying your jet ski. For more advice on your legal requirements while operating a Jet Ski or help dealing with insurance if you get hurt, get in touch with an accomplished Bradenton Jet Ski accident attorney.