As the weather heats up and spring begins, boat owners are taking their vessels back out onto the ocean for some fun on the open water with family and friends. However, a day of enjoyment and relaxation at sea can quickly become a disaster if you find yourself in an unfortunate boating accident.
Although they are common among boat owners in Florida, most boat accidents are preventable and can be avoided by taking a few simple precautions. If you’re looking for a way to prepare for a possible accident in advance, follow these tips to ensure that you can safely enjoy your time spent out on the water.
1. Keeping Alert and Focused While on a Boat
It may seem like an obvious suggestion but staying alert while you navigate a vehicle on the water is one of the best ways to avoid a potential accident. Certain obstacles can quickly appear, such as debris or wildlife, and paying attention to the water can help you avoid a potential collision.
In certain circumstances, other boaters may also be a potential danger, and they can be difficult to detect at night if their lights are not on due to engine failure or a sleeping captain. Other common distractions that can potentially lead to accidents include:
- Boat guests who are yelling
- Loud music nearby or on the boat
- Bad weather (rain, hail, wind, and more)
Staying focused and alert while navigating a boat can make it much easier to avoid a potential accident, especially if there is anything that can draw your attention away from the task at hand. Be sure to dock your boat if there is any potential danger that might make navigating on the water more challenging, such as waves or gusts that may increase the chances of an accident.
2. Stay Sober While Operating Your Boat
Many boat owners enjoy using their boats as a place to unwind and enjoy themselves with loved ones. Inviting over your friends to spend a day on the water is a great way to pass the time, especially if the weather is inviting. However, enjoying alcohol on your boat and driving it while you are under the influence are two entirely different situations.
Just like with any vehicle, operating a boat after you have been drinking is against the law in Florida. It can be dangerous and life-threatening to both you and passengers to navigate a boat under the influence. Intoxication can lead to impaired judgment and vision, making it more difficult for you to see any potential debris, land, or other vehicles that your boat may collide with. Staying sober and avoiding any intoxicants while driving or helping to operate a boat is the best way to safely navigate the water.
3. Ensure Safe Practices Aboard Your Boat
In addition to staying sober and focusing on the water, there are a variety of other ways to ensure the safety of you and your passengers while boating. Avoiding an accident is much easier if you follow safety procedures, which include ensuring life jackets and floatation devices are on board and stocking the ship with equipment such as flares, fire extinguishers, and waterproof devices like radios and flashlights.
The best safety practice that a boater can follow is to maintain the speed limit in the given area, which is usually either 25, 30, or 35 mph. This can help avoid a variety of different accidents and give the driver more control over the boat, which is especially helpful if the weather is dangerous. Boaters are instructed to follow these posted speed limits just as closely as any driver on the road.
Receive a Free Boating Accident Consultation at Baker Legal
After being in a preventable boating accident, it can be difficult to know how to move forward. If you experienced any injuries during the incident, you may be trying to deal with recovery and your damages at the same time. All of this can be complicated to handle on your own, which is why the team at Baker Legal goes above and beyond for our clients. We can help you research and build your case and gather evidence for your testimony. It’s never been easier to get the compensation you deserve after a boating accident in Florida.
For more information on how to receive a free consultation from one of our experienced legal representatives, give us a call at 561-320-0000 or reach out to us online today.