Every year, thousands of tourists visit Florida, especially for kayaking, water skiing, parasailing, jet skiing, swimming with dolphins and other water sports. If you love speed on the water, you may be drawn towards renting or owning a jet ski. You are there to enjoy the gorgeous weather and beautiful beaches. You don’t even want to think about any negative experience such as an accident or injury.
The U.S. Coast Guard released a report in 2014 stating that 592 people were injured on PWC. While out on the water, a lot of operators and passengers don’t follow laws and regulations. There are speed limits and age limits. These vehicles have their own capacities.
Not following the laws and regulations is one of the biggest causes of jet ski accidents. Cases of drowning are not common. However, concussions and broken bones are pretty common due to collisions or other accidents.
Not all accidents occur due to the negligence of the operator or passenger. Sometimes, there are manufacturing or design defects in the watercraft. The company offering jet ski rental service might also be responsible for accidents.
Common Causes of Jet Ski Accidents
Jet ski accidents occur due to a variety of reasons. However, most of the time, it is the driver’s fault. Sometimes, this happens because of the sudden changes in the water or defect in the vehicle. Inexperience and recklessness lead to injuries or fatalities in most conditions. Following are the common causes of jet ski accidents:
- Making sharp turns
- Improper Lookout
- Going too fast
- Drinking and driving
- Dangerous water and weather conditions
- General inexperience
Making Sharp Turns
Jet ski drivers often interact with each other while riding the waves. They often try to race. Sometimes, they make sudden sharp and erratic turns and this can overturn the jet ski. This can also lead to drowning.
When you are having fun on the water, you might forget to lookout for surfers, kayakers, swimmers, boats and other PWC. Keep in mind that you are sharing the water with many other people. You have to pay attention to your surroundings to make water sports safe for everyone.
Going To Fast
Speed is the major cause of jet ski accidents. This recklessness can lead to a collision and also overturn the vehicle. If you have no idea how long it takes to stop a PWC moving at the speed of 50 or 60 mph, avoid speeding. Never cross the speed limits on the jet ski.
Drinking And Driving
No matter whether it is a car, bike or jet ski, never drink alcohol and then drive. Alcohol deprives you of your ability to judge the speed of your jet ski and other jet skis. You cannot judge distances accurately. Most importantly, consuming alcohol slows your reaction times. This is the reason why drinking and driving often cause serious accidents on the water.
Dangerous Water And Weather Conditions
Before you head out or you are already on the water, always be mindful of the weather conditions. Stay away from large waves.
Don’t go for jet ski rental without proper training. Don’t operate a PWC without taking a course or passing a certification. Be cautious if you are a newly certified driver.
Preventing Jet Ski Accidents
Most of the jet ski accidents are preventable. Here are some tips for preventing jet ski accidents:
- Take lessons
- Follow speed and age limits
- Maintain a safe distance from other vessels
- Stay out of a vessel’s wake