Summer is a time to enjoy the weather and to get outdoors with friends and family. One common activity in New York is to hit the lakes for a relaxing boat getaway. Unfortunately, despite our advances in boating and safety technology, there has been an increase in boating fatalities in the last two years.
What makes this especially frustrating is that most of these accidents were easily preventable. Driving a boat may feel different than driving a car, but that does not mean you should put less effort towards your safety. Here are three tips to keep in mind when you pilot a boat.
Keep life jackets on the boat
The United States Coast Guard requires one personal floatation device (PFD) or life jacket per person on your boat. Children under the age of twelve must always wear a life jacket on a boat.
Over 80 percent of drowning victims from fatal boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket. Even if you choose not to wear one on the boat, you should still remember where it is in case of an emergency.
If you operate smaller water vehicles such as jet skis or kayaks, life jackets must be worn no matter how old you are.
Avoid drinking and driving
The same rule towards cars applies here. Driving a boat while intoxicated has been a frequent cause of boat crashes over the years.
You may have more open room to navigate, but there are still several potential dangers to keep your eyes open for. The constant motion of boating, plus exposure to the sun, can magnify the effects of intoxication.
Receive proper boating safety instruction
State law also requires motorboat operators take a safety course online or in person. However, most of the deaths from boat crashes involve operators who did not receive safety instruction.
There has been debate if New York needs to better enforce their safety training for motorboat operators. The stagnant safety suggests that it would be beneficial to enroll in a course that prepares you for numerous emergency scenarios if you plan to operate a motorboat in the future, it would be beneficial to enroll in a course that prepares you for numerous emergency scenarios.
When you take the wheel, you take your life and the lives of the passengers into your hands. By mastering safe driving habits now, you can protect your future passengers from preventable harm.