Texas has more squares miles of inland water than any other state and is also one of the leading states for boating fatalities. As summer approaches, many Texans will be headed to the water to fish and boat. Following a few common sense rules will keep you, your family, and others safe:
Never drink and drive anything. Just as in driving a car, drinking and driving a boat is illegal. Anyone who is either impaired by alcohol or who has a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher while operating a boat can be arrested for BWI (boating while intoxicated). The reason for this is simple. Just like drinking and driving, drinking and boating doubles your chances of having an accident.
Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) or a life jacket. Most boating fatality victims found in the water were not wearing a life jacket. In Texas, it’s the law that children 13 and younger must wear a PFD while the boat is moving.
If operating a personal watercraft, be extra careful. Jet skis or wave runners can be difficult to maneuver at slower speeds. All people riding on a personal watercraft are required by state law to wear personal flotation devices.
Always have a second person watching the water. Unlike the road where cars can only come from two directions, boats can come from any direction. Someone in the boat should keep an eye out in all directions.
If you are tubing (pulling somebody on a tube behind a boat), it is especially important to have at least two people acting as lookouts. You should not be trying to watch a person on a tube and drive the boat at the same time.
The attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have the skill, experience and resources to fully investigate any serious accident or death. If you have a question about an accident involving a serious injury or fatality, please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.