For 33 years, I have represented people injured in the state of Ohio, including those injured while boating on Lake Erie and other Ohio Lakes. As grateful as I am to live near a beautiful body of water, it’s important to remember that water can be very dangerous.
Boats, like any other motor vehicle, bring with them an inherent risk for injury and death. As such, many precautions should be taken before heading out onto the water. While boating is just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than automobiles and motorcycles, this leisurely activity isn’t always classified as such.
If you are one of over 400,000+ Ohioans with a boat, you need to read the following tips to prevent becoming the victim of a boating accident in Ohio:
1. Stay sober while boating.
To some it may seem that drinking and boating go hand in hand, and because of that, alcohol consumption is one of the leading causes of boating accident fatalities. Boating is not the place to drink, just as it would be inappropriate to drink in your automobile. Whether you are the person operating the boat, or simply a passenger, drink water, iced tea, juice or pop instead!
2. Invest in good safety equipment.
70% of all boating deaths happen as a result of drowning. Having quick access to life jackets and other floating devices would prevent the majority of these deaths. Before you pull up your anchor, make sure you have all of the necessary safety equipment, including life jackets, floating devices, and first-aid kits.
3. Properly maintain boat and safety equipment.
Make sure your boat and your safety equipment is in good working order. Safety equipment is of no use to you if it is not properly maintained. Furthermore, going out onto the water when your boat is not safe can put you and your passengers at serious risk.
4. Keep track of weather and water conditions.
Ohio weather is unpredictable, and summer storms are very common. Check the forecast before boating, and pay close attention to water conditions, so you don’t find yourself in a situation you can’t handle. Be smart, and don’t take any unnecessary risks.
5. Properly load passengers and equipment/gear.
Many boating accidents occur as the result of improper weight distribution and/or overloading the boat. To avoid capsizing it is important to follow instructions and rules regarding weight limits and distribution.
6. Take a boating safety class.
Close to 90% of all boating accident fatalities have occurred while someone without proper training was operating the boat. Just as you are required to take driver’s education classes, it is important to be educated about your watercraft.
7. Pay close attention to everything.
It is easy to be distracted on a boat – the beautiful scenery, passengers, other boats – but you have to pay close attention to everything around, specifically the boat’s movements, other vessels, changes in the weather, and water conditions. This is another example of why you have to stay sober while boating, since it is essential to react quickly to the unexpected.
8. Follow all navigation and boating rules.
We all have a right to use Ohio’s beautiful lakes for our pleasure, but it is every boater’s responsibility to follow the boating safety rules. Rules were created for a reason – to keep people safe! All motor vehicles have risks. The risks associated with boating increase because water is very unpredictable. Follow the rules, including those regarding speed limits. While it may be fun to go faster, speed limits are set for a reason and should be obeyed to keep you, your passengers, and others sharing the water safe from unnecessary harm and danger.
These boating safety tips may seem basic, but take a second to review them before heading out onto the Lake. A few seconds may prevent a tragic accident from occurring.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured while boating, you have to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373. I can help you navigate the legal process, and I will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. As your Ohio personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.