missouri boating safety tips

One of the best ways to beat the Missouri heat is to hop in your boat for a weekend of fun. However, the summer months see the highest rates of boating accidents across the state, resulting in property damage, injuries, and even fatalities. Hundreds of boat accidents are reported each year, but you can learn how to decrease your risks by following our boating tips. 

Missouri Boating Safety Tips

Maintain a Safe Speed

It’s not difficult to imagine why some people speed in their boats, but it’s one of the most dangerous things you can do when operating a boat. 

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, failing to keep a lookout is the leading cause of accidents in the state, and most of Missouri’s reported boating accidents occur when one boat hits another vessel. Whether the drivers are unable to see or simply aren’t paying attention, most of these types of accidents can be avoided by simply paying more attention. The boat driver should always be alert and aware of what’s going on around the boat. 

Be Mindful of Water Conditions

Although most boating accidents in Missouri occur on clear and sunny days, it’s still important to hit the water with the weather in mind. Choppy water and swift currents can easily lead to an accident, so be sure to stick to a speed that is safe for the current conditions. 

Avoid Alcohol

Like driving, it’s also illegal in Missouri to boat while under the influence. That doesn’t stop some from indulging, though, and the results are often disastrous. Alcohol slows your reaction time and impairs decision making skills – a deadly combination when behind the wheel of a boat.

Stay Safe

Be prepared to stay safe by taking boat safety courses, stocking up on life preservers, and following all posted guidelines and rules. Even if you are a boating expert, it never hurts to brush up on your safety skills to help avoid accidents. 

What to Do if You’re in a Boating Accident in Missouri

Unfortunately, not all boating accidents can be avoided. Be prepared and understand what you should do before it happens. 

Stay Calm 

If you’re in a boating accident, try not to panic. The best thing you can do for your and everyone else’s safety is try to stay calm and assess the situation. Have a plan for emergency situations and make sure everyone is familiar with the location of safety devices and a first aid kid. 

Assess Injuries 

Boating accident injuries are common and can be fatal. Make sure you can locate everyone on board and help anyone who fell overboard. Assess whether anyone is injured and seek medical attention as soon as possible. 

File a Police Report 

You are required to report boating accidents if anyone is injured, killed, or there is any property damage over $500. Not only must you comply with the law, but obtaining a police report can also help you when seeking compensation. 

Contact a Missouri Boat Accident Attorney

If you were involved in a boating accident that wasn’t your fault, you can discuss your options with a Missouri boating accident lawyer at Dreyer & Tinney. Our law team is well-versed in Missouri boating laws and can help you recover damages and receive fair compensation. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you during a free consultation with an experienced Missouri attorney.