As a driver, you’re likely aware of the strict traffic laws you need to follow when traveling on city streets and freeways. However, you may not be aware of the safety precautions you also need to take when you get behind the wheel of a boat. Even though spending the day on the water can be a relaxing and fun experience, there are steps you need to take in order to avoid a boating accident.
Take a Boating Course
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70% of boating incidents are the result of operator error. By taking a boating education course, you can learn essential rules for safely operating your vessel. In addition, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron provide free Vessel Safety Checks to ensure that your recreational boat is ready for use.
Learn about Carbon Monoxide
All internal combustion engines, including boat engines and onboard motors and generators, emit carbon monoxide. This poisonous gas is particularly dangerous because it is odorless and colorless. If someone on your boat is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, the initial symptoms are very similar to seasickness. The best way to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning is by ensuring that there is good ventilation on your boat and learning about the symptoms. Since CO poisoning can cause dizziness and fainting, everyone on the boat should wear life vests in case they fall overboard.
Avoid Alcohol Consumption
In the same way alcohol impairs your ability to drive safely, drinking alcohol while boating affects your judgment, vision, balance, and coordination. Every state in the United States outlaws operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as it puts you and your passengers at risk. In fact, you can become impaired more quickly while boating because you are continuously exposed to sun and heat.
Contact a Maryland Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you've been injured in an accident, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Gaithersburg office directly at 301.840.0404 to schedule your free consultation.
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