Over 1.5 million jet skis, also called personal watercraft, are registered in the U.S. In addition, more than 1,000,000 boats are registered in Michigan. Although they represent only a tiny percentage of registered recreational vessels, they are involved in approximately 20% of all reported water accidents each year. According to the United States Coast Guard, between 600-700 jet ski accidents are reported every year, producing about 40 deaths and hundreds of nonfatal injuries. Perhaps this is not surprising, considering that jet skis can go upwards of 60 miles per hour and have no brakes.
Since a jet ski offers its operator and passengers virtually no protection in an accident, the result can be severe injuries, including the following:
Consequently, avoiding a Jet Ski Accident should be a top priority for you and your teenagers when you’re driving one of them.
Even if you and your teens are experienced boat operators, operating a jet ski is different. It requires a different set of knowledge and skills, especially regarding boarding, driving, and reboarding after being tipped or thrown off. If at all possible, take a jet ski safety course before driving your jet ski for the first time, and make sure that your teens do likewise.
As a responsible jet ski operator, you should follow the following safety precautions:
Many Michigan lakes have their own set of rules to keep everyone safe while enjoying a day on the lake. Rules can include:
Many Michigan lake’s boating rules can be found online – here is an example of Lake Angelus boating rules. Be familiar with the rules on the lake you are driving on.
Perhaps the most crucial safety tip when jet skiing or participating in any form of water fun is to wear a life jacket – NOT a life belt – and insist that all passengers do likewise. It should be one approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and should fit adequately in terms of size and snugness. It should also be a bright color so that boaters and other jet skiers can easily see you if and when you’re dumped in the water. While wearing a life jacket won’t help you avoid a Jet Ski Accident, it may save your life if you have such an accident. For instance, if you’re knocked unconscious, your life vest will keep your head above water so you don’t drown.
Just because you’re a safety-conscious jet ski operator, don’t assume that all other jet skiers are, too. Your most significant danger may come from other jet ski operators who are so busy having a good time that they neglect to watch where they’re going. In other words, whenever possible, give other operators a wide berth. Steer out of their path as they approach, but be prepared for any sudden direction changes they may make.
If you sustain injuries in a jet ski accident, Giroux Trial Attorneys are here to help. We’ve been successfully representing accident victims for over 20 years and are prepared to go the distance to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.Share this Article