Personal Watercrafts and Jet Ski Accidents
Jet skis and other personal watercraft accidents occur with an alarming frequency to vacationers and inexperienced users in the State of Florida that often result in serious injuries or even death. The best way to avoid a jet ski accident or personal watercraft accident is through knowledge of how the vehicle performs and situational awareness of your surroundings (location of hazards like rocks, bridges, docks, the effect of tides/currents and the actions of other people on the water). Safe operation requires you to try to anticipate what could happen next to avoid getting yourself into a potentially dangerous situation.
Things happen very quickly on the water and distances are often times hard to judge, especially for the inexperienced operator. Personal watercraft accidents often occur when the operator borrows or rents a jet ski without receiving adequate instructions on how to safely operate the vehicle or what to do in the event of an emergency. Education about the risks associated with jet skis can substantially reduce your risk of being involved in a serious accident. For instance, it is important to understand that more than half of all jet ski accidents involve a collision with another vessel. Accidents can result from various scenarios, such as two jet skis approaching each other where the closing rate is effectively twice the top speed of either jet ski if both operators are at full throttle (a closing rate of 130 mph results from two jets racing towards each other at 65 mph), or a failure to understand that a jet ski takes a considerable distance to stop once power is cut leaving the jet ski operator’s ability to steer the craft sharply reduced.
Certain maneuvers are against the law in most states because of the inherent risk of injury. In most states it is illegal to: make sharp turns near another vessel; jump another vessel’s wake within 100 feet of that or any other vessel; follow a boat too closely; and chase another jet ski in small circles. It should go without saying that the operation of a jet ski while under the influence of alcohol or while otherwise impaired is especially dangerous. Individuals are regularly arrested for boating or operating a jet ski while intoxicated. Some people seem to believe that it is acceptable to drink and drive a boat or watercraft, but it is not. These types of activities combined with inexperience and inattention can result in serious or fatal accidents.
For more information or to discuss your potential Jet Ski or personal watercraft injury claim at no cost or obligation, contact us or call us at 954-572-7200. We welcome your inquiries.