Personal injury attorneys know all too well that boating accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence, and boat owners must regularly compensate people who are hurt in a variety of ways on or by their boats. However, that doesn't have to happen to you. You can enjoy hosting people on your boat and exploring the seas while making sure that you and your passengers stay safe. One important aspect of safety is always wearing a life jacket that is approved by the United States Coast Guard and ensuring that passengers do as well.
Reason #1: Life Jackets Are Proven to Save Lives
Statistics indicate that 90 percent of individuals who have drowned in accidents could have survived the boating incident if they had been wearing a life jacket. In the event of a split-second accident, it doesn't do you any good to simply have life jackets on board. They need to be worn the entire time that you and your passengers are on the boat. If a misadventure comes on suddenly, having the life jacket on can secure the safety of those on board even if they are not able to swim.
Reason #2: Accidents Happen Unexpectedly in Calm Weather
When most people imagine potential danger on the open seas, they may imagine storms suddenly appear on a calm night. However, oftentimes boating accidents occur even in seemingly pristine boating conditions. Common causes of accidents include operator inattention or inexperience, excessive speed, and machinery failure. Let your passengers know that weather isn't the only indication of danger, and they should wear the life jackets for their own protection.
Reason #3: Even Great Swimmers Can Become Incapacitated
People may feel secure because they know how to swim, and they may feel that they could rescue themselves in a worst-case scenario. However, even Olympic swimmers could become incapacitated in the event of a boat accident. They may be injured by rocks or the boat itself, or they may be thrown off balance and cannot swim due to waterlogged clothes. Whatever the reason, having a life jacket is crucial even if you are a top swimmer because accidents happen suddenly and unexpectedly.
Finally, keep in mind that boating accidents have something in common with car accidents. Most boating accidents are preventable. Keep safety first in your mind any time you are on the water, and always take precautions by wearing a life jacket and requiring every single passenger to do the same. It's largely in your hands to ensure the safety of people who enjoy your boat.