10 Safety Tips to Prevent Arizona Boating Accidents
Boating is a fun and relaxing activity that many Arizona residents enjoy, but it is also inherently dangerous for many reasons. It is crucial for all boat operators and passengers to understand a few basic safety guidelines to prevent boating accidents in Arizona.
1. Obtain Proper Certification and Documents
All Arizona boaters must register their vessels and obtain the appropriate insurance coverage for boating in Arizona. There are extensive guidelines for boat operation in Arizona, and boaters should enroll in safety education courses before setting out on the water in Arizona.
2. Make Sure All Vessels Have Required Lights and Markings
Arizona requires boats of all sizes to have appropriate light fixtures and markings. This helps patrolling police officers locate and identify boats, and lights make nighttime navigation safer for all watercraft. A broken or damaged light may interfere with other boaters’ safe navigation or make your own vessel harder to see.
3. Heed Posted Navigational Markers and Signs
Some Arizona waterways will have posted navigational markers and signs that indicate things like no wake zones. Pay close attention to these markers and adjust your course accordingly. If you travel through a no wake zone, drop your speed so you don’t create potentially dangerous wake.
4. Check Vessels Before Every Outing
Many boating accidents happen due to equipment failures or damaged vessels. Check your boat for any damage before setting out on the water and address issues immediately. It’s also important to check your boat’s fuel and fluid levels to avoid an engine failure on the water.
5. Keep Necessary Safety Equipment Onboard
Arizona law requires boat owners to keep personal flotation devices onboard for all passengers. If there are five people on your boat, you must have at least five functional life jackets and some type of flotation device you can throw to a passenger who is thrown overboard.
6. Know Your Passengers
As a boat operator you should know your passengers’ experience levels with boating and swimming in case someone falls overboard or another emergency situation arises. If one of your passengers cannot swim or has a disability that makes swimming difficult, take appropriate precautions to prevent serious accidents.
7. Refrain From Drugs and Alcohol While Boating
Many people go boating for relaxation in the sun and on the water, and some adults may want to consume alcohol during these outings. It’s essential for boat operators to refrain from using drugs or alcohol before operating any type of watercraft. Not only is doing so extremely dangerous, it is also highly illegal and can lead to significant legal penalties.
8. Avoid Boating at Night Whenever Possible
Some people enjoy fishing on the open water at night, but it’s essential to appreciate the increased risks on the water at night. If possible, make for shore by sunset to limit the risk of accidents caused by poor visibility.
9. Encourage Safe Swimming and Boating Practices
If you charter your boat for outings or take friends and relatives boating, make sure your party knows proper boating safety. Passengers should remain seated while the boat is in motion and stay clear of the propeller of the boat while in the water. If your party stops a boat to swim, be sure to anchor the vessel appropriately and be mindful of members of your party who may not swim very well.
10. Invest in New Safety Technology
Many modern watercraft feature cut-off switches, GPS navigation, and various other safety features that can help prevent boat accidents. If you own an older watercraft, make sure it still meets the Arizona boating laws and has the necessary safety features.
These are just a few of the ways you can help prevent boating accidents in Arizona. These accidents happen for a number of purely preventable reasons, resulting in catastrophic or even fatal injuries and significant property damage. Common sense and good judgment can limit your risk of experiencing these damages on the water in Arizona. If you’ve been injured in an accident on the waters of Arizona, contact a boat accident lawyer from Knapp & Roberts to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your damages.
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