Whether you go out on a lake, a river or even the ocean, you may eagerly anticipate getting your boat out on the water. Spending the day outdoors with friends and family, swimming off the back of the boat, fishing and other activities make boating a popular choice for the late spring and summer months.
While you think about all of the fun activities you will engage in on your boat, you may want to also stop and think about your safety. A refresher in the most common causes of accidents and injuries while on the water could keep your days of fun from becoming tragedies.
What goes wrong most often?
The U.S. Coast Guard compiled a list of the most common mistakes that lead to boating accidents, including those listed below:
- Even though having a few drinks while out on the water may seem like a no-brainer, it could lead to an accident and criminal charges. You face the same dangers driving a boat drunk as you do on the roads.
- Of course, you should have fun, but you also need to remain vigilant. Many of the accidents that happen on the water result from someone not paying attention and hitting another boat or other object.
- Speeding is dangerous during the day, but often worse at night when it's more difficult to see and really know where the boat is on the water.
- Even with improved safety measures on boats, fires continue to be a potential source of danger. Make sure your fuel lines aren't leaking and that you have at least one fire extinguisher on board your boat.
- Make sure you have life jackets. Even good swimmers could suffer injuries if they fall overboard, and a life jacket will turn you face up, which could save your life.
This list doesn't include all of the ways in which you could find yourself in a boating accident. Even if you take every precaution possible, no one can give you a guarantee that you won't end up in an accident. This is mostly due to the fact that you share the water with other boaters who may not be as safety-conscious as you are.
If you end up the victim of another boater's negligence
If you suffer injuries due to the actions of another boater, your injuries could keep you away from work and your personal responsibilities for some time. Your financial situation could suffer due to mounting medical costs and the loss of income, among other things.
Fortunately, you could file a personal injury claim in a New Jersey civil court, seeking compensation for your financial losses and other damages.