Unfortunately boating accidents happen, and when they do they are often serious. Arkansas has 600,000 acres of beautiful lakes and over 90,000 miles of streams, creeks and rivers. Many of us love spending time boating and fishing, but it’s important to remember boating safety when you’re out on the lake. In an Arkansas 2013 the year-end-report , it was reported that boating accidents declined from the year before, but they still happen far too often.
Simply paying closer attention while you’re on the water could prevent many accidents. When you are operating a boat or watercraft on the lake, you don’t have as much control as you do when you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, therefore it is important not to put yourself in situations where you might need to stop quickly or change directions quickly. Many accidents happen when excessive speed is involved and the driver loses control. Unfortunately alcohol also plays a large part in the amount of boating crashes that happen.
There are so many forms of entertainment on the water. Whether you are swimming, jet skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, skiing, or simply on your boat enjoying the weather, you must always be paying attention to your surroundings. Drivers have to be aware and watch for other boats and watercraft at all times, as well as swimmers. Jet skis can be a lot of fun and a great form of entertainment but can cause serious injury or even turn deadly when used in the wrong fashion. My family and I were on the lake this past summer and observed two jet skis driving at excessive speeds in a figure 8 pattern when one driver got too close to the other jet ski and they crashed. The driver was thrown from his jet ski and was injured. This is just one example of how quickly a good time can turn devastating. Boating accidents happen in various forms, from hitting other boats, to colliding with jet skis, to running onto shorelines. Most can be avoided if the driver was simply paying attention to their speed and their surroundings.
If you are interested in learning more about boating safety or taking classes on boating safety, visit http://www.boat-ed.com/arkansas/handbook/ and you can sign up for classes or familiarize yourself with boating laws and responsibilities. If you were born before January 1, 1986, you are not required to obtain a certificate in boating education, but it is always a good idea to educate yourself. If you were born after this time, you must have the appropriate certification to legally operate a boat or watercraft.
Enjoy the rest of the summer, and be safe out there. Please contact an Arkansas boat accident lawyer if you or a family member suffer a boating injury.