As we inch towards spring and summer, the influx of outdoor activities will increase, especially when it comes to using the many waterways that are common in the Texas coast. Among many favorite pastimes, one such that represents both fun and excitement is that of jet skis.
As many understand, jet skiing is a popular water sport that allows the reader to sit or stand on a boat complete with an inborn engine. The craft is then able to create its own propulsion system with user-guided steering. Moreover, the research indicates that riders of jet skis can reach approximately 60-plus mph, which showcases why many adrenaline-seeking individuals actively turn towards this sport in particular.
However, many individuals do not understand the actual dangers that can be associated with jet skiing. The common assumption is that, because the sport is done on the water that it then somehow negates any potential for danger since the user is able to swim. That mindset couldn’t be further from the truth.
According to National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), as reported on by Fox News, “It’s somewhat of a perfect storm. There’s always been a number of accidents together here, so we have a lot of people saying, ‘What’s happening?’”
The “what’s happening” refers largely to the fact that 16 individuals were killed nationwide in the summer of 2012 alone and the number does not seem to be lessening anytime soon.
According to the Fox Report, the U.S. Coastguard indicates that there were approximately 44 deaths in 2011 alone. Overall, the report indicates that there were 238 injuries within this time frame, and of those 212 resulted in injuries.
That begs the question, how does one prevent these kinds of unfortunate Jet Ski fatalities from occurring?
Primary Causes of Jet Ski Accidents
To that end, one should first understand the primary causes of these incidents and how best to prevent them:
- Reckless Driving: The leading cause of these types of accidents is simply reckless driving. One should understand that caution should always be used. Failure to adhere to the “rules of the road” even while on water can cause serious collisions, or hitting immoveable objects head-on. This includes excessive steering, or failure to use proper steering.
- Driver Inattention: When an individual is riding on a personal ski, it is imperative that they continue to keep their mind on the task at hand. Taking one’s attention off of steering, even for a second, can have drastic consequences.
- Inexperience: Although little training is required to actually drive a jet ski, one should get proper training. It is estimated that approximately 32% of operators had little training before an accident occurred.
Overall, reports indicate that approximately of 90% of Jet Ski accidents were the result of operator error. As the report indicates, the major problem of these accidents simply was that operators felt a certain level of comfort being on water and as such, they did not properly employ “the rules of the road”.
In this vein, if one uses caution and ensures that proper training is a must, then these kinds of accidents can be avoided altogether.
If you have a question about a jet ski or boat accident injury claim, call us for a consultation- (281) 587-1111.