A recent two-boat accident in Biscayne National Park left nine people injured. The incident has highlighted the need for boating safety reviews. With the summer months here, more people are taking advantage of Florida’s many waterways to try out boating. In addition, tourist season is here, and that can mean waterways are more crowded with tour operators and tourists, which can also increase the risk of boating accidents in Miami and other communities. According to safety experts, there are several things that boaters can do to stay safe:
1) Take a water safety course. If you want to buy a boat or already have a boat, it is important to take a safety course to review safe boating practices. According to safety experts, boater inexperience is one of the biggest contributors to boating accidents. If it has been a while since your last boating course, consider taking a refresher course.
2) Treat boating like driving. Most drivers understand the risks of distracted driving or understand how to prevent drunk driving accidents in Miami or other communities. Many of the same rules apply on the water. Never drink while boating; you will need your focus and good response times to avoid collisions on the water. Similarly, when on the water, place your entire focus on boating and on safety. Do not allow yourself to be distracted with mobile devices, passengers, or other distractions.
3) Wear a life vest. If you fall from the boat and sustain a head injury in Miami or your community, a life vest will keep you afloat and visible until help can arrive. Make sure that you wear a proper life vest each time you go boating and insist that all your passengers wear life vests, too.
4) If you are heading out on a tour boat or cruise ship, do your research. Research the company and any safety violations the company has. Ask about staff training, safety policies, and boat maintenance. A reliable tour operator or company will have many safety measures in place to protect you and other passengers – and will be happy to explain safety practices. Do not get onto a boat or cruise ship belonging to a company you do not trust or do not know anything about.
5) Wear appropriate clothing when boating. Sturdy shoes and clothes that allow you to move will make it easier for you to maintain balance in the boat and can help prevent you from falling over on the boat and injuring yourself. In addition to comfortable clothes, be sure to wear a hat and sunglasses so that you can see the water around you, even if glare is a factor.
6) Keep your boat maintained properly. A correctly maintained boat is more likely to respond correctly, which can make it easier to prevent an accident.
If you are injured in a boating accident in Southern Florida and believe that your injuries may have been caused by negligence, contact the Flaxman Law Group to arrange a free consultation to review your case with a personal injury attorney. You may qualify for compensation that can help pay for medical costs, lost income, and other expenses related to your injuries.