The Arrival of Arizona Boating Season Comes with Safety Concerns

53116(2)What are your family’s plans this summer? Will you be spending time at home in the Phoenix area, or will you be taking a trip? If you are like a typical Maricopa County resident, odds are that you will leave the Valley at least once this summer and will travel by car or by plane to another part of the state or the nation.

Many people look forward to this time of year so they can enjoy some fun on a lake with their friends and family. Boating is a very popular pastime in Arizona and there are some great bodies of water in the northern part of the state for people to enjoy. Others head to Nevada or similar neighboring states with some water so they can enjoy time off work while relaxing in the sun.

Now that school is officially over for many children in Phoenix, the boating season in Arizona has begun in full force. If you will be participating this summer, though, make sure you do so with safety in mind so that you can avoid any boat accidents or water-related incidents that may lead to harm.

Before you hit the water, have your boat prepared for the summer season by taking it to be serviced by a professional. This will also help to identify any potential problem areas that should be addressed before boating and can let you make any necessary repairs before an incident arises. Also, make sure you review your insurance policy to make sure it is active and your boat is covered so you are fully informed of what you are risking long before you leave your home.

Note that trailers to haul boats must be in proper working condition to be safe and legal on Arizona roadways. Your trailer should have an appropriate license plate, working turn signals, and working brake signals to alert other motorists near you. Further, you should inspect the tires on your trailer for signs of wear or degradation and replace or repair any tires in need.

Once you make it to the water, make sure everyone who will be on board your boat is familiar with basic safety procedures. Show them where life jackets are stored or pass out life jackets once passengers are near to ensure that there are enough life jackets for all boating participants. Further, make sure you are familiar with the rules that govern boating and obey all posted regulatory signs in your area, including speed limit and no wake signs.

Be aware that operating a boat while impaired by drugs or alcohol is a crime and is also a serious threat to the safety of your passengers and others in the area. Of the boat accidents that happen annually, a large number of them can be attributed to impairment and experts believe that simply eliminating drinking and boating could save dozens or more lives a year.

Finally, be aware that you are in control of your actions and you will determine whether everyone remains safe or whether a collision takes place. Resist any urges you may have to act in a foolhardy and potentially reckless manner and instead enjoy your time on the water while remaining safe and secure in your own personal conduct. An accident cannot be undone once one occurs and the fallout from injuries cannot be erased no matter how hard you try so it is best to avoid all water-related incidents whenever possible.

Prior Blog Entry:

E-Cigarette Explosions Continue to Cause Devastating Injuries, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published May 27, 2016.

Resource:

The Boater’s Guide of Arizona: A Handbook of Boating Laws and Responsibilities, Arizona Game and Fish Department, accessed May 31, 2016.