The thrill and excitement of boating on the open sea are part of the experience, but your safety is crucial when you’re out on the water. Unfortunately, boating accidents can happen anytime, but if you practice safe boating habits, you can reduce your chance of them happening and save yourself from serious injury or even death. Here are reckless boat driving habits that can cause boating accidents; you must avoid them to stay safe!
1. Becoming Airborne While Crossing a Wake from a Nearby Vessel
It is crucial to maintain control of the vessel during a wake crossing. That will ensure that your boat does not become airborne and flipping over. Becoming airborne while crossing the wake of another vessel within 100 ft. of the boat or ship creating the wake can result in your boat flipping over, leading to severe injury or death.
While crossing the bow wave of a vessel, it is also essential to stay as close to shore as possible to avoid being thrown into shallow water or crushed by large waves from oncoming ships. If you see an obstacle ahead, it’s best to slow down and steer around it instead of crashing through it at high speeds. You can Click here to read more about safe boating habits!
2. Weaving Through Congested Traffic
Boat traffic can be a nightmare if you do not adhere to the navigation rules or lack the necessary experience. If you’re not familiar with the boating laws of your area, it’s best to do some research before heading out on the water for the first time. If you must weave through congested traffic, maintain a steady speed and give plenty of warning when you’re coming up on another boat or vessel. It would help if you also reduced speed to minimize any potential impact that could lead to injuries.
Trying to cut across large vessels is not only dangerous but illegal in most cases as well. Additionally, suppose you’re inexperienced or don’t have enough visibility from your position in the boat. In that case, this could lead to severe consequences like missing the other vessel and crashing into someone else on the water. It’s also essential to always wear your life jacket so that if something happens – such as falling overboard – you will be ready.
3. Swerving a Boat to Spray Another Boat with Wake
Reckless boating habits can cause boating accidents, but swerving a boat to spray another vessel with a wake is the most dangerous. The act is illegal in some states and can lead to other drivers crashing into your boat or capsizing. Make sure you do not succumb to these dangerous maneuvers that could land you and others around you in grave danger. Always be mindful of how your actions may affect others on the water!
The best way to avoid such an accident is to maintain a safe distance from other boats and always pay attention when there are obstacles around, such as shallow water and dock pilings. Operating your boat at high speed near an anchored or moored vessel is highly hazardous and may result in severe injury or death. If you happen to get caught up in one of these fast-moving currents, turn away quickly so that you don’t crash into something else.
4. Driving Your Boat Too Fast
The safe speed for your boat may depend on several factors, such as the size of your boat and engine, types of water, and the surrounding conditions like congestion and underwater hazards. However, be aware that you can also lose control of your boat if you drive it too fast in choppy water or against strong currents. Also, note that going fast requires more skill and can cause an accident if you miss a turn or need to change directions quickly.
So be sure to slow down when going through areas with high concentrations of other vessels and fish. Just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there, so be mindful of this when zooming through shallows. A general rule of thumb is to slow down if you can’t see where you’re going because of waves, darkness, or increment weather. Don’t ignore the waterway’s no-wake zones!
5. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol. It doesn’t matter if you have had two beers or 20; driving a boat is still dangerous and illegal. If authorities convict you of boating under the influence of alcohol, they may revoke your driver’s license for one year on your first offense.
Your second offense will result in a five-year revocation of your driver’s license and up to $2,500 in fines. Alcohol can slow down reaction time and impair judgment. You may not realize that you have consumed too much alcohol until after the boat crash occurs. To avoid accidents like these: avoid drinking and boating.
Reckless behavior that is either intentional or negligent can cause boating accidents. The key to staying safe on the water is to use caution and practice safe driving habits. Boating accidents can happen in ways you may not realize, so you must be aware of your surroundings and other vessels. However, suppose you suffer injuries due to the negligence of another boat operator. In that case, you should consult a personal injury attorney who can help recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering.