We’re getting close to entering the summer boating season, and therefore it’s important for people who will be partaking in this great Florida pastime to remind themselves of some important boating safety rules and regulations so you can stay safe.
It is an unfortunate reality that Florida, because of its climate and the sheer number of boaters on its waters, frequently is a national leader in boating accident injuries and fatalities. Here are just a few examples of some of the most common causes of boating accidents:
- Lack of experience: Inexperienced operators are more likely to make mistakes when navigating their vessels, and are more likely to be unaware of basic rules of boating.
- Operator inattention: Distracted operators, much like distracted drivers on roads, are a danger to everyone on the waterway. Boat operators must stay vigilant to the conditions and to potential hazards nearby.
- Speeding: Excessive speed can result in collisions or loss of control of the boat.
- Equipment failure: Failure of equipment or parts often occurs due to neglecting to stay up to date with the most important maintenance tasks.
- Impaired operation: Alcohol or drug use is frequently a factor in severe boating accidents. The legal limit for BAC for boating operation is the same as it is for drivers--.08 percent. But it’s best to avoid partaking altogether if you know you will be operating the boat.
- Waves and wakes: Failure to properly navigate waves or wakes can result in significant accidents and injuries.
- Weather: Always check the weather conditions and forecast before going out, and keep a radio or other device on you while on the water to stay abreast of potential changing conditions. The weather can turn on a moment’s notice.
- Violations of boating rules. Just as there are “rules of the road” when you’re driving, there are also navigational rules for boaters. Failure to follow them can result in accidents.
For more information about the most common causes of boating accidents and how to avoid them, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.