Boating is a great way to relax, but be careful!
Wakeboarding, fishing or just enjoying a day on the boat is a great way to spend time with family and friends. Here are some boating safety tips that you can share with your agency's customers -- and tell them about Allstate Boat Insurance.
- Wear life jackets. Eighty percent of all boating fatalities could have been prevented if the victims had been wearing life jackets. It is not only good policy to wear life jackets; in order to meet Coast Guard requirements, all boats must have an approved Type I, II, III or V life jacket for every person aboard, no matter the vessel's size.
- Limit alcohol use. Coast Guard data shows alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in fatal boating incidents. The operator of a boat should never drink, and the Coast Guard recommends that even passengers avoid it, as excessive alcohol increases the risk of onboard injuries and falls overboard. In 2011, according to the Coast Guard, alcohol was a contributing factor in 361 boating accidents and 149 fatalities.
- Check the weather. Before leaving the dock, check local weather conditions; television and radio reports can be a good source of information. If you notice darkening clouds, volatile and rough changing winds, or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe and get off the water. Nearly 74 percent of all accidents happen during the day with good visibility; the peak time for accidents is 2:30pm - 4:30 p.m.
- Be aware. The No. 1 contributor to accidents was a distracted operator, followed by poor lookout. Nearly 24 percent of accidents in 2011 could have been avoided by people paying attention. Learn the following important skills and information to increase your awareness on the water:
- How to read navigation charts and signs
- The navigation rules of overtaking and passing other vessels
- What navigation lights signify for boating at night or with limited visibility like fog or storms.
A day on the water can be an enjoyable experience no matter the season, but fun with family and friends can quickly turn tragic if care isn't taken to avoid mishaps. Safe boating is easy, but does require a little planning before heading out.
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