Summer is here, and that means many Hoosiers will head out onto the beautiful waters to enjoy the warm water and breezy days. Boating in summer is magical, but it can quickly turn deadly. Even if you are an experienced boater, it is important to review your boating safety precautions, before the start of the summer season.
There are some precautions that every boater must take, no matter how experienced he is.
First, a boater should always check the weather updates before getting out on the boat. If the weather promises to turn threatening in the hours ahead, postpone your plans. Severe weather can be threatening in even the smallest bodies of water.
A boating checklist is an important tool that is also an absolute must and helps you prepare for all kinds of emergencies on the water. Before you depart, make sure that you are equipped with sufficient number of life jackets on board, navigation lights, flashlights, batteries, sound–producing devices (air horns, whistles), tools, distress signals, and other essentials. Don’t leave on a boating trip without making sure that your pre-departure check list contains all of these essentials.
Once on the water, boaters should be especially careful about their speed and awareness. Speed can be dangerous, especially when you’re on the water. Operating a boat at high speeds dramatically raises your risk of an accident. Operate the boat at reasonable speeds at all times, and make sure that your boat is steered clear of larger vessels that are more difficult to avoid in an emergency.
Ensure that you and everybody on the boat are wearing life jackets. Failure to wear life jackets is a major cause of fatality in boating accidents. Each and every person on the boat must have a well fitted life vest. Even the best swimmers are at risk of drowning if they’ve suffered an injury.
Another major contributor to boating accidents in Indiana is alcohol use. Alcohol consumption can lull a person into a false sense of complacency. When on the open water and enjoying the warm weather you are already at risk of having your senses dulled. That risk is heightened when you add alcohol to the situation.
If you are new to boating, do not even attempt to operate a boat unless you have taken a boating safety course. It’s important not just to know how to operate a boat, but also be familiar with all emergency procedures, and ensure that you are compliant with Indiana state regulations.
The Indiana boating accident lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LPP are committed to ensuring that Indiana boaters are safe. They also aggressively represent persons injured in boating accidents around Indiana. Call them today!