jet ski safety

Jet skis are often referred to as the motorcycles of the water. These personal watercraft offer hours of fun and excitement when operated properly. Unfortunately, they also offer opportunities for serious injuries and even death when drivers and riders are careless. The two major causes of accidents are inexperienced drivers and speeding.

In 2014, 34 people in the United States died from personal watercraft injuries. Hundreds were injured, and their injuries were often severe, such as limbs being lost and serious chest, abdominal and head injuries. Although the craft is considered a toy by some, it is not a toy and shouldn’t be treated like one. It is categorized as a boat, and all the safety requirements that apply to boats apply to jet skis.

What You Need to Know

The University of Florida has conducted extensive studies about the causes of jet ski accidents and the types of injuries resulting from those accidents. The study also provided some basic safety tips you should know before you either operate one or ride as a passenger.

  • A jet ski hitting an object is the most common accident. The driver and passenger are generally ejected. Their bodies hit the object or the jet ski, and they land in the water. Be extremely wary of objects, other jet skis, other boats and any floating object in the water.
  • Being wary of objects includes watching out for a floating device or skier being towed behind another watercraft.
  • Always wear a life vest. Some are designed particularly for jet ski riders.
  • Always keep on your person the lanyard that will cut the engine if you fall off. Otherwise, you could be stranded in the water while your vehicle is running and driving away from you.
  • Wear a whistle, so if you do get stranded in the water, you can call for help.
  • Do not ride in known swimming areas.
  • Do not drink alcohol and operate a jet ski. Even one beer can slow down the reaction time you need to quickly maneuver the watercraft to avoid an accident.

This is not a comprehensive list, and you should take all the same safety measures you would use for operating any watercraft.

If you were injured in any type of jet ski accident, you need to consult with an attorney who has experience with personal injury cases involving boating accidents. You may have a claim for damages.

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