Boaters beware. This weekend, thousands of people will take their vessels out on the water to celebrate the unofficial end of summer. If you plan on being one of them, remember: safety first!
The risk of boating accidents is overlooked by many people, but the danger is definitely real. According to the United States Coast Guard, there were 4,158 recreational boating accidents in 2015 alone. These wrecks accounted for 2,613 injuries, 626 deaths, and more than $40 million worth of damage to property.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help you stay out of harm’s way while you navigate the seas:
- Always boat sober. This should go without saying, but alcohol is the most common contributing factor to boating deaths.
- Properly maintain your boat and safety equipment. Make sure your boat is in good working order and meets all safety specifications. You could be held personally liable for any injuries that occur if something is not up to par.
- Monitor weather conditions. Poor weather conditions are responsible for hundreds of boating deaths each year. Check the forecast before you set sail, and return to shore quickly if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
- Maintain a safe speed. Excessive speeding puts you at a higher risk of crashing; not to mention you could receive a ticket from your local maritime authority.
- Stay alert! Above all else, stay cognizant and aware of your surroundings. It may be hard to pay attention to the water with a boat full of lively passengers, but failure to do so could be fatal.
What should you do if you, or someone you love, is injured in a boating accident?
People injured in navigable bodies of water should seek legal representation when seeking recovery. A settlement can help you pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and damaged property; but you should not fight the battle alone. The injury attorneys at Stewart Law Offices know your rights, and have experience handling maritime claims in both state and federal courts. If you are currently recovering at your home or hospital, we can even arrange to meet at your convenience for a free consultation. Give us a call today at 866-783-9278.