Boating accidents and personal injuries are often caused by negligence and occur more often in the summer months. However, many of these accidents can be prevented. Here is a look some ways to help prevent boating accidents and injuries in the Carolinas.
Don’t Drink and Boat
One of the top ways to prevent boating accidents is to avoid drinking and driving a boat. Boaters who are found guilty of this infraction could face the same charges as people who are arrested for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.
For example, the state of North Carolina has three varying levels associated with BUI (Boating Under the Influence). Boat checks can also done on the whim by state wildlife and game officials, who have more leeway in this area than police officers making auto related traffic stops.
Avoid Excessive Speeding
Unlike cars, boats are not equipped with brakes. Therefore, stopping suddenly is not as simple which makes speeding even more dangerous in a boat. A lack of seat belts can also cause severe injuries to passengers in the event of a collision. Boat captains should be well-trained in how to handle a boat, which becomes increasingly difficult at high speeds.
Stay Stocked and Ready
More than 80% of all boating fatalities occur when a person is not wearing a life jacket. Stocking your boat with an ample amount of life jackets is extremely important before heading out on the water. Keeping a fully-stocked emergency kit, distress signals and a working fire extinguisher can also help manage through any unforeseen trouble.
Careful Captains and Passengers
Recklessness should not only be avoided by the captain, but passengers should also be mindful of their behavior. People falling overboard is one of the most common causes of boating deaths. It is important to be mindful of that.
Maintaining what is considered to be safe speeds, limiting alcohol consumption among passengers, and constantly monitoring the weather can help safe passage in a boat.
Don’t Rely On Cell Phones
Every boat should be equipped with GPS navigation and the ability to radio into shore. That does not mean relying merely on a cell phone, since both signal and power could be lost at sea. Having working GPS instruments onboard can potentially assist in successful navigation and calls for help if needed.
Stewart Law Offices handles jet ski and boating accidents Columbia SC to Charlotte NC. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help. If you have been injured in a boating related accident in SC or NC, please give us a call at 866-STEWART.