How You Can Prevent any Possible Boating Accident?

Ah, summer. In Chicago, for many, this means rounding up dozens of friends, heading to the lakeshore, and renting out a fabulous yacht at the numerous yacht clubs for a few hours. Many residents of Illinois also own their own boats and frequently make trips to the lake a weekly must-have to beat the summer heat. Before all of the fun there are serious precautions that should not be ignored to ensure that everyone involved in the activity is safe. Here are a few tips to consider:

Know the Boat

If you own a boat or plan to be a frequent user, it is wise to take a boating course to learn more about the boats you plan to use. Many states have boating courses that will walk you through safety, operation, terminology, and maintenance.

Boat Capacity

Boats are equipped to handle a certain capacity of people. It is imperative to make sure this capacity is not exceeded. Too many passengers can cause a boat to capsize or flood.

Boat Maintenance

Get your boat tested at the recommended times to ensure that it is in proper working order. Carbon monoxide is a common dangerous gas that can be present on ill-maintained boats.


Weather is a huge factor in how the boat is going to perform on the waters. Check the tide levels and to see if there are any dangerous water warnings with The National Weather Service. The Service also has a guide on how to read any water signals for day and night. This will provide additional guidance in the case of unexpected weather changes. Small boats are especially vulnerable to wind gusts and need to be aware of any potential warnings.

Life Jackets

The US Coast Guard has a huge safety campaign to get boaters to wear life jackets on their boats. It would be wise for a boater to supply these to their guests and to inquire if any guests are unable to swim. Owners should also ensure that their life jackets are in proper working order and are not torn. It should be worn for all types of boating activities, including water and jet skiing.

Limit Drinking

I know that this one is tough and the reason why many people want to boat at all. However limiting alcohol and its influence can greatly reduce accidents that may hold a boat owner liable for injuries to guests. Seventeen percent of boating fatalities occur under the influence of alcohol.

Federal law requires accidents to be reported to the proper state agency if the accident involves an injury that needs more than first aid. It is important to know your proper state boating agency. In Illinois it is the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Illinois requires most boats and water vessels to be registered with the agency via the use of Water Usage Stamps.

This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not rely on the above information as all cases are different and different laws apply to different cases.

Consult our Boat Accident Attorney

Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you were injured in boating accident please call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529.