Summer is here, which means that Texas lakes will be full of boaters and operators of personal watercraft. While boating is a great way to relax and have fun, accidents can happen. In fact, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, 2014 saw 610 boating fatalities and 2,678 reported injuries. Many of these accidents could have been prevented by precautionary measures.
We at The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC care about your safety. In the interest of helping you stay safe this summer, we’ve put together a brief list of summer boating safety tips.
Keep the following in mind before heading out on the water this summer:
- Alcohol and boating don’t mix! Alcohol diminishes focus and concentration and decreases reaction time, which can be disastrous out on the water. If you plan on operating a watercraft, stay away from alcohol.
- Keep an eye on the weather. Boating in poor weather is another leading cause of boating accidents. If the weather looks rough, it may be best not to take the boat out that day.
- Always wear a life jacket. Drowning is by far the most common boating-related fatality. Always ensure that you and your guests are outfitted with a life jacket, even if you’re a good swimmer.
- Follow a pre-departure safety list. Before heading out on the water, ensure that you have emergency supplies put together in case something happens. Bring plenty of water, food, tools to fix your boat, flashlights, and any other supply you might need in case your boat breaks down or capsizes.
Boating Under the Influence (BUI) in Texas
As a reminder, Texas law prohibits anyone from operating a vessel while intoxicated—that is, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This prohibition includes operating a boat, sailboat, personal watercraft (jet ski), sailboard, or other similar device while intoxicated.
Just like motor vehicles, alcohol is a major contributor to boating and personal watercraft collisions, injuries, and fatalities. There are laws on the books in Texas that provide strict enforcement of boating-while-intoxicated prohibitions. Violators can be subjected to the same penalties as drinking and driving motor vehicle operators, and may face jail time, expensive fines, and license suspension.
If you will be captaining a watercraft this summer, make the safe and smart choice not to drink and operate a boat. It could save a life!
Boating Accident Attorney in Austin
The attorneys at The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC are familiar with boating/jet-ski collisions and are steadfast in the pursuit of justice for boating crash victims, especially those crashes caused by intoxicated persons. If you have a question regarding a Texas boating/jet-ski crash claim, call The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation. We’re available 24/7 when you call (512) 271-5112.