Did you know that Arizona is one of the top places for summer boating accidents? This is due in part to Arizona being among the top boat owning states per capita in the nation. Seems strange in the desert but it is true. Arizonans love heading out of the heat of the Phoenix area to relax at Lake Pleasant, Lake Havasu or Lake Powell.
Before heading to the lakes for boating fun, consider these tips for preventing a summer boating accident. If you’re involved in a boating accident, call Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer to resolve your case.
Summer Boating Safety
The key to preventing a boating accident is to stay alert. Be aware of your passengers, other boaters, and weather conditions along with these to prevent an accident:
Avoid drinking alcohol while operating a boat.
Boating is often viewed as a way to relax after a long week. Along with that sometimes comes drinking a few (or more) alcoholic beverages. Arizona law is the same for drinking and driving a boat while under the influence as it is for driving a car — .08 blood alcohol level – and the penalties are the same.
During March through September Arizona waterways are patrolled by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. You may see other agencies patrolling especially at the borders of California and Nevada. Summer boating may include being stopped at OUI checkpoints (Operating under the Influence). Similar to DUI checkpoints for cars, OUI checkpoints are designed to keep boaters safe.
Require everyone in the boat to wear a lifejacket.
All too often we hear someone lost their life in a summer boating accident due to drowning. This could have been prevented if all boaters wore lifejackets.
Register your Watercraft
Motorized boats are required to be registered before they can be legally launched in the water. If it’s your first registration for a boat in Arizona, you must have a certificate of number (ownership document), an AZ number, and a set of decals. Register your boat through the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Failing to do so could result in a fine.
What to do if you’re in a Summer Boating Accident
No matter how careful you are on your boat, there will inevitably be other boaters who are not as careful. You can do your best to prevent a summer boating accident but they happen. If you’re involved in an accident, treat it as you would a car accident:
- Take pictures at the scene of the accident.
- Call the police.
- Fill out police reports.
- Seek medical attention.
- Call a boating accident attorney.
It may seem like you’re not injured but over the course of the next few days, you may find that you are suffering injuries. That’s why it’s important to get check by a medical professional after the boating accident. You can never be too careful.
A boating accident attorney can sort through the evidence, witness accounts, and police reports to determine you level of responsibility and compensation.