As summer charges ahead with scorching temperatures, many families and friends will head to lakes to cool down and get away from work. When you’re out having fun it can be really tempting to have more than a few drinks. However, drinking and boating is just as dangerous, if not even more so than drinking and driving.
Stay Sober While Boating
Everyone that’s going to be getting on a boat needs to understand the risks of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs (BUI). While It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state, there are still many accidents every year.
Boating Under the Influence Facts:
- Impaired judgment and coordination, two essential qualities for safe boat operation.
- A BAC of .035% impairs a boater’s ability to operate a boat.
- According to MADD: The environment on a boat – motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind, and spray – accelerates a drink’s impairment. These stressors cause fatigue that makes a boat operator’s coordination, judgment and reaction time decline even faster when using alcohol.
- Boat operators are often less experienced at driving and less confident on the water than they would be driving a car. Recreational boaters don’t operate a boat on a daily basis. Actually, boaters only average 110 hours on the water per year.
Tips For Staying Safe in the Water:
- Wear life jackets — no it’s not stylish but it is lifesaving
- Stay hydrated to keep you alert
- Make sure no one is hanging off the side of the boats
- Don’t horseplay, there isn’t a lot of room for accidents
- Look after each other, just like you would on a night out
- Watch out for other boaters who could hit your boat
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