The New Year is just a few hours away, and many people are going to be celebrating on a boat. But as fun as the holiday is, it can also be very dangerous. To avoid a serious injury, our boating accident lawyers have a few tips that can help you stay as safe as possible while ringing in 2016.
- Refrain from alcohol consumption – Alcohol is one of the leading factors contributing to boating accidents and fatalities. Though drinking while boating is extremely dangerous on any day, it is especially dangerous to consume alcohol while on a vessel on New Year’s Eve. Traffic is going to be significantly heavier on waterways – with others likely drinking as well – which also increases the likelihood of an accident. Though you can’t control what others on the water are doing, you can control your own actions. Alcohol lowers inhibitions, reaction times, and blurs vision – all things that can cause a boat crash. Plus, people become inebriated a lot faster while on the water due to the heat and the rocking motion of the waves. Abstaining from alcohol consumption while boating is one of the best things you can do to protect not only your safety, but those of others sailing aboard your vessel as well as other boaters sharing the waterways with you.
- Don’t set off fireworks from your boat – Few things are as spectacular as being able to watch a magnificent fireworks show on New Year’s, with front row seats right from your boat. However, it’s best to leave the light show to the professionals. Many people try to set off fireworks from their vessels, which has danger written all over it. Not only can fireworks malfunction and cause injuries for those in the vicinity, but they can also lead to a fire on your boat. In addition, it’s also a good idea to anchor your boat a prudent distance from where a fireworks show is going to take place, as residue from the fireworks can also fall on your boat and spark a fire.
- Stay alert – Even if you don’t plan on drinking or setting off fireworks from your boat, there will undoubtedly be someone else who will be engaging in dangerous practices on the waters. For these reasons, it’s imperative that you exercise extreme caution if you plan to take your boat out tonight, watching carefully for boaters and jet ski users who are speeding, following other vessels too closely, or who appear to be committing any other type of reckless actions on the open waters.
- Wear a life jacket – As our boating accident attorneys have said time and time again, life jackets are a must anytime you head out into open waters. Given the fact that it’s a holiday, there’s an increased risk of being involved in a collision or capsizing tragedy. Life jackets are sometimes the only thing that can help accident victims stay afloat, especially if victims sustain injuries that render them incapable of swimming or staying afloat on their own. Before heading out on the waters, strap on your life jacket and make sure that everyone on your vessel does the same.
These are just a few simple steps that you can take this New Year’s Eve if you plan on sailing your boat. Aside from that, all of us here at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. wish you and yours a wonderful, healthy, and safe holidays!