Any person who is going to be out on the waterways during the summertime needs to be safe. This is particularly true for those who will be enjoying various types of boating activities throughout Arizona. The reality is that boat accidents can lead to severe injuries, and these incidents are often caused by the careless or negligent actions of a boat owner or operator.
By following the safety tips provided here, you and your family and friends will be well on the way to enjoying a safer outing. Everyone wants to get home safe, so step up and ensure that you are doing everything you can to provide that safety. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact our Arizona boating accident lawyers today.
Always wear lifejackets
Everybody knows that wearing a life jacket is important, but it is surprisingly common for individuals to not wear one or to not even have enough life jackets on board for every person. Modern life jackets are thin and lightweight, so there is really no reason for boat occupants not to have one on.
The US Coast Guard does require boats to have USCG-approved lifejackets on board and accessible to every person on the boat. All states require children to wear life jackets, and it is important to understand that adult-sized life jackets will not work for children.
In addition to these requirements, any boat 16 feet or longer is required to have a Type IV throwable device on board to rescue any person who goes overboard.
Know the boating laws in Arizona
It is crucial to know the boating laws for the state of Arizona. This state does provide a fairly extensive boater’s guide that explains the boating laws and responsibilities that you have when you go out on the water.
Many people take a relatively relaxed approach to boat safety, but that should not be the case. Just like driving on the roadway, any boat operator needs to know the laws before they hit the waterways.
Watch out for inclement weather
Inclement weather is a leading cause of boating accidents. This is particularly true if boat operators are unaware of approaching bad weather conditions. In addition to checking weather forecasts before heading out on a boat, it is crucial to remain vigilant at all times. The conditions on lakes and rivers can change rapidly, and boaters do not want to be caught in the middle of a weather situation.
Never drink alcohol and operate a boat
Under no circumstances should a person operating a boat be intoxicated by alcohol. Just like operating a vehicle, the legal boating blood alcohol content level (BAC) is .08%. Any person operating a boat intoxicated could be arrested and charged with DUI.
Be courteous to others on the water
Courtesy goes a long way. When you are on the waterway, be cognizant of all posted signs and observe all boating rules established by local authorities or property owners. You want to keep your wake low when you are near other boats, swimmers, or close to the shore.
Be ready for a person going overboard
You do not want the first time you practice overboard drills to be when someone goes overboard in an accident. Before you go out on any boating trip, you and every occupant should discuss what you need to do in the event somebody goes over. The steps include turning off the motor and propellers, readying any flotation devices that can be thrown to the person overboard, and remaining calm in all situations.
Watch out for propellers
Before starting a boat’s engine, it is critical to know where every passenger is. Propellers can lead to significant lacerations or amputations in the event a person is in the vicinity when they are turned on.