In Florida, the various waterways and proximity to the ocean provide residents with many opportunities to enjoy boating. Being out on the water is a fun activity for many Floridians in search of a way to relax in the heat and explore the state’s natural beauty.

Because boating is so accessible and popular in the state of Florida, there are a lot of people on the water during peak boating times. Unfortunately, the high number of boaters can contribute to a higher number of boating accidents. Some precautions should be taken to ensure your boating experience is as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Wear a Life Jacket at All Times

Life jackets (also called “personal flotation devices”) should always be worn on a boat. Even if you know how to swim, a life jacket is an added safety measure that can prevent drowning, whether or not you are able to swim. If you keep your life jacket on at all times, you will have the added assurance of protection from drowning.

Don’t Boat Under the Influence

Especially if you are driving the boat, you should avoid the use of alcohol and drugs while on the water. The operation of any vehicle while under the influence is always a bad idea, but even passengers should be wary of overindulgence while boating. Unsteady waves, the closeness of other boats, and the risk of drowning all increase your risk of accident and injury, and the influence of alcohol and drugs will only make boating more dangerous. It is crucial to be completely aware and coordinated when boating to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

Be Prepared

Before setting out on your boat, check the weather and be aware of any potential storms. If the weather is going to be bad, it is best to avoid the water altogether.

Your boat should be stocked with safety features that can assist in the event of an emergency. Extra life jackets and other flotation devices such as life rafts and inner tubes should be available. You should also make sure there is a first aid kit on hand so you can quickly tend to any injuries on the way back to shore.

Even when all the proper safety precautions are followed, accidents can still happen; many of which are caused by third-party negligence. If you were injured in a boating accident, or would just like more information about your rights in the event of a boating accident, contact our Port Charlotte personal injury attorneys. We can be reached at (941) 979-9010 or online. All initial consultations are free.