Tips for Avoiding a Florida Boating Accident

The summer months in Florida call for fun days out on the boat so it is important to practice boat safety to avoid a Florida boating accident. If you are a passenger on a boat, the driver of the boat or someone enjoying the water close to other boats, paying attention and knowing safety practices can help you! Preventing boating accidents all starts with boat safety courses and the tips it includes.

Safety Precautions for a Florida Boating Accident

Before you set sail, there are three things you need to check:

1. The weather

    • Checking weather conditions is one of the most important things to do before deciding to go boating. Even though the sun is shining doesn’t mean the waters of the ocean will be calm. If the water is too rough, it can cause the boat to shift from side to side making it difficult to walk or sit on the boat. The swaying is also a big catalyst for causing sea sickness.
    • Being aware of weather changes throughout the day is good to know. In Florida, the weather has a mind of its own; one minute it can be bright and sunny with no chance of rain then the next minute it’s dark clouds with heavy rains. Safe boating is knowing when the weather might turn sour and heading back beforehand.

2. Safety equipment

    • Safety equipment that should be on the boat includes life vests for all adult and children passengers, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, a rope with a flotation device, a flare gun, and a radio.
    • The U.S. Coast Guard provides very good guidelines for life vest requirements and other types of safety gear so you can be properly prepared and avoid paying any fines.

3. Responsible driver

    • For proper safety, a responsible driver should be assigned beforehand. Operating a boat is a very important responsibility. The driver should be an adult who knows how to drive a boat, has a boating license, and is not under the influence of alcohol.
    • The driver of the boat should be familiar with the water they plan on driving in as well as knowing the basic laws of navigation, speed limits, and other boating laws.
    • Limiting the number of passengers on the boat can help reduce the chance of a boating accident or someone on the boat getting injured.

florida boating accident

After a Florida Boating Accident Occurs

Depending on the type of boating accident that occurs, the situation of how to handle it may be different. According to Florida Statute 327.30, the boat owner that caused the accident should try and contact one of the following agencies: The Division of Law Enforcement of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; the sheriff of the county; or the police chief of the city where the accident occurred.

Further, that statute states that it is illegal for the driver of the boat that caused the accident to leave the scene without reporting it and/or providing assistance to all persons involved. The driver that violates this statute will face a felony to the third degree if injuries were involved or a misdemeanor of the second degree if it was only property damage.

If you are injured during a Florida boating accident you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Speak with one of our Florida boat accident attorneys too, they can provide you with a free case evaluation and free consultation to help you through this accident and receive compensation for injuries sustained. There are quite a few types of injuries that you can sustain from a boat accident that can be a result of the driver not driving at a safe speed:

  • Brain injuries

    • This type of injury can be related to drowning or being exposed to carbon monoxide. When boats collide with each other, the impact can toss someone off the boat into the water and be trapped.
  • Lacerations

    • If you are thrown from the boating after colliding with another boat or rocks, you can be exposed to the propellers of the boats and suffer bad cuts. If you are thrown and land on rocks, you can also sustain cuts and broken bones from them.
  • Spinal cord injuries

    • Colliding boats can cause spinal compressions due to the impact of the crash.
  • Burns

    • Burns can occur if there was an electrical issue or explosion that causes the boat to catch fire. Leaked gas into the ocean or body of water can cause the fire to spread around the boat.
  • Whiplash

    • Driving quickly through waves can cause unnecessary neck injuries. If the boat is speeding and comes to a sudden stop, that jarring experience can cause passengers to have whiplash injuries.

About the Author

Michael Steinger
Michael Steinger

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MICHAEL S. STEINGER, founding partner of Steinger, Greene & Feiner, believes in representing real people, not big businesses. Since the firm’s creation in 1997, Steinger, Greene & Feiner has never represented an insurance company or large corporation, and he vows to keep this promise. Over the course of his career, Michael has handled thousands of Florida accident cases, recovering millions of dollars for his clients and earning him membership into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving laws protecting injury victims and their families, Michael is an active member of the American Bar Association, the Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Bar Associations, and sits on the Auto Insurance Committee of the Florida Justice Association.