Speed boatMany Americans enjoy boating during the summer months. Boating safety should be seriously considered every time you venture out on a boating trip. Why? Over 4,000 boating accidents were reported last year alone. 560 people died, with 77 percent of the deaths due to drowning. Here are some tips for keeping safe this boating season.  

Life Jackets

In 84 percent of the boat accidents that resulted in a drowning death, the victims were not wearing a life jacket. Wearing a life jacket is a simple way to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome if a boating accident occurs. It is estimated that life jackets would eliminate half of all boating deaths. Keep in mind that inner tubes and pool noodles are not safe floatation devices. Be sure your family members are wearing approved life jackets.

Alcohol Use

Alcohol use is blamed for 16 percent of boating deaths. The effects of alcohol are increased with exposure to the sun and heat. Judgment is severely impacted with alcohol use and can result in poor choices with terrible outcomes. Just as it is not safe to drive a car after consuming alcohol, it is not safe to operate a boat.  

Check the Weather Conditions

Boating in severe weather conditions significantly increases the likelihood of an accident. Check the weather report before heading out on a boat. Verify no thunderstorms are predicted and that the winds will not be strong. If you are out boating on a nice day and a storm pops up, head back to land immediately.  

Take Classes

Anyone who will be operating the boat should take a boater education class to learn safety rules and how to handle circumstances that might arise. In some states, boater education is required. Even if it isn't a requirement, a boater safety class is valuable.

In addition to a boater safety class, all people riding on the boat should know how to swim. Look for classes offered in your community.  

Keeping safe while boating should be a top priority this summer. Revisiting the above tips before you head out on a boating adventure will help ensure a successful trip.

Protect your watercraft and your family. Call Miller Insurance Agency at (409) 899-9531 for more information on Beaumont boat insurance.

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