when the living is easy…
or is it?
July 16, 2019
Yet, Jeffrey Kroll, Partner with Kaveny + Kroll Trial Lawyers, has known more than a fair share of summer stories gone awry. “It’s amazing if you think of it but the rules that regulate us when we operate vehicles on land, be they automobile, motorcycle or bicycle, are far more stringent than those that apply to boats, wave runners and the like,” says Kroll. Indeed, in 2017, the US Coast Guard reported 4,291 boating incidents. “When it comes to boating, many don’t even think twice about the dangers of drinking and driving. Locations such as Blarney’s Island, accessible only by boat in the Chain of Lakes, regularly serves alcohol in house or ‘to go’. “Unfortunately, we have fewer resources to patrol the huge expanse of lakes, rivers and streams, so many unsafe habits go unchecked.” Kroll recommends becoming familiar with boating state laws. Not all states have the same boating laws. Learn and know the “rules of the road” for boating (www.boatoncourse.com).
Along with recommending the same adherence to safe driving tips by land or by ‘sea’, Kroll also is an advocate of Lifejackets. “Lifejackets are a must in safe boating. Not just motorized, but for non-motorized vessels as well. While regulations on lifejackets may vary from state to state, boaters must wear lifejackets anytime they are on a boat. Even good swimmers need lifejackets, which ideally should be a proper fit for one’s size and weight, as well as properly fastened.”
Some of the most tragic incidences occur by drowning, which caused 3,709 deaths in 2017 alone. “It goes without saying that the younger the child, the greater the risk,” says Kroll.
“Stay safe by being prepared and using the appropriate equipment. Every child should wear a lifejacket at all times when boating. Don’t let your child tell you ‘they don’t need one.’ A split-second can result in a loss of a life.”
If your vehicle of choice is water skis, jet skis, tubes or wakeboards, remember that these otherwise summer past times can become dangerous when used at high speeds or in an altered state of mind. Always have a spotter in the boat and go over basic hand signals. Enjoy these activities during daylight hours only and ensure that the participants know how to get out of the water safely.
Finally, although the sun puts the fun in summer, be careful with high temperatures. Anybody can be at risk for a heat-related illness. Drink lots of water and wear the appropriate sunscreen.
“Regardless of your method of operation, make sure to exercise good judgement and common sense,” says Jeffrey Kroll. “This can save your life, or that of someone you love, and keep your endless summer intact.”
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