As the weather starts to warm up in Colorado, there is nothing better than getting on the water. However, while boating is a favorite way to cool down during the state’s summer months, it is essential to understand that boat safety is critical in preventing debilitating injuries and tragic fatalities. In the following post, we will go over some tips that can help you stay safe on the boat this summer.
Do Not Drink Alcohol While Operating the Boat
It is not illegal to have alcohol on a boat in Colorado. However, driving or boating while under the influence is prohibited. Those who decide to break this law can put the safety of those on board at risk. The U.S. Coast Guard reports that alcohol is involved in about a third of all recreational boating deaths. So while boating with friends and family often means a time to relax and enjoy a nice day on the water. This does not mean you should be opening up a cold alcoholic beverage as you are behind the wheel
Have Proper Boat Safety Equipment
Even though you cannot control everything that happens while on the boat, you can stay prepared. You want to make sure you have navigation lights, a fire extinguisher, flares, a first-aid kit, life jackets for everyone on the boat, and an anchor on your water vessel.
Drive at a Safe Speed
Speeding on the water can have similar results to speeding on land and lead to catastrophic accidents and devastating injuries. What’s more, there are no lanes on the water, and you will often find boats and other watercraft driving all over, zig-zagging and cutting off others. This can make avoiding a crash challenging, especially when you are speeding.
Do Not Overload Your Watercraft
The more you pack your boat, the greater the risk of it becoming unbalanced and capsizing. This includes the weight of both equipment and passengers. For these reasons, it is critical to follow your boat’s capacity restrictions.
Check Weather and Water Conditions Before Heading Out
Before going out on the water, you need to check the weather forecast. What may start as a beautiful, hot day in Colorado can quickly turn into an afternoon storm, with increased winds and choppy waters. The best way to avoid these issues is to verify ahead of time what the conditions on the water are going to be.
Wear a Lifejacket
The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that lifejackets could have saved over 80% of people who passed away in a boating accident. Yet, many adults still fail to wear a lifejacket while boating. And when an accident happens, these individuals rarely have time to find a lifejacket that is stowed away somewhere.
Plus, it is also important to remember that even strong swimmers can struggle in the water, especially during an emergency. That is why everyone on the boat should wear a lifejacket when the boat is in operation.
If you or a loved one have suffered severe injuries in a boating accident due to the lack of boat safety and wrongful actions of another, do not wait to get the legal help you need. Instead, contact Cave Law today for a free case evaluation and find out how our personal injury lawyers can help you fight for your rights and go after the justice and financial damages you are entitled to.