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Summer is here, and the days are heating up. It’s time to take a break from the land and hit the water for some fun. Whether you’re swimming, boating or riding a jet ski, you can enjoy all the water has to offer this summer at your local lake, river or beachfront. However, cooling off doesn’t necessarily mean you should forget proper watercraft safety.Avoid these common pitfalls to protect your personal watercraft, yourself and others who may be enjoying the water as well.

Inexperienced Operators

Ashton & Price, personal injury attorneys, legal expertise, contact usAlthough you may be far from any roads or highways, it’s important to treat all watercraft as you might treat a car or truck. As such, you’d never allow a person who has never operated a car before to drive on a busy street without constant supervision and guidance. The same should be true of watercraft. Whether it’s a boat or jet ski, watercraft can become dangerous when operated by an inexperienced rider. In fact, most watercraft accidents involve an operator who is younger than 21! Additionally, a majority of these young operators were friends or family members of the craft’s owner.1

Inexperienced operators may not be acclimated to the safety protocols, controlling mechanisms, acceleration rate and braking distance of any given watercraft, increasing the risk they’ll be involved in a beaching or collision. Watercraft owners should protect themselves and avoid these situations by only allowing experienced operators to drive their watercraft.

Collisions

Watercraft collisions can be dangerous and severe, especially when a novice is at the wheel. Because there are no hard speed limits or lane lines on the water, many operators may believe they have free reign to ride as fast as they’d like wherever they want. This attitude toward watercraft operation can be incredibly dangerous, as unpredictable movements and high speeds on the water are the chief cause of watercraft collisions. Not only do these habits put yourself and your craft in danger; they also may cause serious harm to passengers or other people enjoying the water. Practicing alert operation and abiding by all posted signs can help protect you and your loved ones in crowded waters.

Falling

In addition to severe collisions, irresponsible or inexperienced operators may put themselves and others in danger of falling from the watercraft. Though one may consider this a minor inconvenience at most, falling out of a craft can put a rider in harm’s way. A passenger may hit their head on the craft or ground, drown if they aren’t wearing a proper life vest or even be run over by a craft while they’re in the water. Even if your passengers are secure and safe, it’s important to be vigilant while operating your craft to avoid hitting a fallen passenger in the water.

If You or a Loved One Are Injured in a Watercraft Accident, Call Ashton and Price

Even if you are a knowledgeable, experienced, sober watercraft operator, there are no guarantees others will be. If you find yourself faced with a watercraft injury, you’ll need an experienced attorney to deal with the aftermath of the accident and get you the reparations you deserve. Contact the compassionate and dedicated legal experts at Ashton and Price Attorneys at Law by calling 1-877-MY-INJURY to schedule your consultation today!

1http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/SWPWC.asp

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