|September 20, 2018||How to Avoid Boating Accidents: Boats and Personal Watercraft||no comments|
|July 25, 2018||Summer Camp Injuries: Prevention, Risks and Liability||no comments|
|July 11, 2018||Over-packing Your Car Can Make Driving More Dangerous||no comments|
|May 09, 2018||Defensive Driving Can Prevent Accidents and Injuries and Also Save Lives||no comments|
Jet Skis®, WaveRunners® and Other Personal Watercraft (PWC) Have High Accident Rates
Warmer weather and extra daylight hours make summer the perfect time for outdoor sports like boating and personal watercraft recreation. New York State has thousands of freshwater lakes and 70,000 miles of rivers and streams. These statistics do not include access to the Great Lakes or Atlantic Ocean. You are not hard pressed to find a favorite spot in New York for boating or riding your JetSki or WaveRunner.
However, along with this great opportunity for summer fun, comes an equal need to be responsible and act safely. Every year, people in New York die from drowning and water collision accidents.
Statistics Tell the Story
BoatUS reports that people using personal watercrafts (PWCs) experience a higher collision rate than those using any other type of watercraft. PWC collisions are 30 percent of reported boating accidents. PWC collisions also result in more injuries and deaths than any other type of PWC accident. Which is the greater risk for dying in a PWC accident — drowning or blunt force trauma? Blunt force trauma the greater risk.
Why Do PWC Operators Have Higher Accident Rates?
The main reason is inexperience. Most riders involved in PWC accidents lacked instruction or safety education training prior to operating the craft. An estimated 84 percent of PWC accidents involved operators with no training, and 73 percent had ridden for less than an hour when the accident took place.
The age group that is most involved PWC accidents is the 11-20 year old age group. While a parent would never hand the car keys to their 11 year old, nor let them near a car without supervision and a learner’s permit, even when they reached 16, this was not the case with a PWC. In fact, PWC owners were not the ones most involved in accidents. Only 18 percent of PWC owners were in accidents. Owners’ siblings (29 percent) and friends (53 percent) were the most frequent riders involved in PWC accidents.
Inexperience leads to poor judgment and loss of control.
Safety Tips: What to Avoid When Boating or Riding a PWC
Here are some guidelines to avoid when boating or operating a PWC:
When Should You Seek Legal Help for a Boating Accident?
When your injuries are serious and you believe another party was at fault, consult with a lawyer and find out about your legal rights.
The Law Offices of David R. Lewis offers a free consultation to discuss your accident and determine whether grounds exist to sue for damages.
What types of risks sometimes exist at summer camp?
Summer camp injuries in most cases are not typically serious and the majority of children across the United States enjoy summer camp. However, when children are exposed to preventable risks and serious injury occurs, there may be grounds for legal action to recover damages.
A study published by the U.S. National Institute of Health in 2006 reported that the most common injuries children experienced at camp were cuts, scratches and scrapes (33 percent) and that 14.6 percent were fractures and 10.4 percent were sprains. Researchers identified horseback riding and capture the flag as injury producing activities.
What are some precautions to prevent injuries?
The American Camp Association suggests various precautions that camps should take to prevent injuries:
Boating and swimming are also popular camping activities. Adhering to water safety rules is also vital to keep children safe. Campers should always wear life jackets when boating, and camps should have trained lifeguards to supervise swimmers.
As a parent, when you are choosing camps for your children, you should ensure that the camp is accredited and also inquire about precautionary measures the camp has in place to prevent injuries.
When should you seek legal help for a camp injury?
If your child suffers from a serious injury, it is wise to seek legal counsel. An experienced attorney can determine whether negligence was involved. Holding negligent parties accountable can help prevent other children from suffering similar serious injuries.
The Law Offices of David R. Lewis offers a free consultation to discuss your camping injury and determine whether grounds exist for taking legal action.
Packing Your Car Wisely for Vacations
With warmer weather here and children out of school, many people are taking to the road for vacation trips. While you want to be sure you pack what you need to enjoy vacation, over-packing your vehicle can ratchet up the driving dangers, and it’s wise to be aware of what they are.
How can over-packing create visibility hazards?
When you cram your back seat with boxes and luggage, they can block the rear window and force you to rely on side-view mirrors. Cars already have blind spots and the chances of not seeing a car or a child walking behind your vehicle increases when rearview mirror views are blocked. You should avoid over packing that blocks your visibility.
What are the blind spots in a car?
Vehicles have blind spots on either side of the vehicle and also one in the rear of the vehicle. SUVs and pickup trucks have larger blind spot areas than smaller vehicles have.
Consumer Reports did a study where researchers measured the blind spots in a variety of vehicle models and also evaluated the size of blind spots based on whether the driver was of average height or short. Small and midsize sedans had from 12 to 13 feet of blind spot area for an average driver and 24 and 22 feet of blind area for short drivers. A mid sized SUV had blind spots that were 18 feet for average drivers and 28 feet for short drivers. Pickup trucks’ blind spots were 24 feet for average drivers and 35 feet for short drivers.
Why do over-packed cars add extra danger during car accidents?
Despite the fact that you and your family are secured by seat belts, boxes and luggage crammed into the backseat of your car are typically not fastened down. In a collision, the impact causes objects to shift and you are at greater risk of being hit by a flying object.
Please be careful not to over pack your vehicles and also to take precautions while driving. If you suffer injury in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, the Law Offices of David R. Lewis offers a free consultation to discuss your potential case.
Do you know how to drive defensively?
Everyone has heard about defensive driving, but what does it mean to drive defensively? It certainly behooves drivers to find out because knowing and following defensive driving guidelines can be a lifesaver when on the road. With warmer weather and summer approaching, an increasing number of cars are on New York’s thoroughfares. Schools are taking field trips and soon families will be taking vacations, packing up their vehicles and driving to near and far destinations. Freeways as well as side roads will become more congested with traffic.
Tips for Defensive Driving
With safety in mind, the following are some defensive driving tips provided by drive-safely.net:
When driving, how far ahead do you look?
If you don’t look beyond the car in front of you, you’re not looking far enough ahead when you drive. Many people stay narrowly focused, but you should be able to see for miles. One way to avoid accidents is to develop situational awareness. You can notice how long a traffic light in front of you has been green or see that children down the street are playing with a ball. When you drive, practice looking as far ahead as you can.
Do you see the big picture?
When your eyes fixate on one other car or a building, you miss what else is going on. You should be aware of what is going on in the perimeter around you and notice vehicles that are at least three car lengths away. Are cars further down the road braking? Has traffic ahead of you come to a stand still? If your attention becomes glued on an accident at the side of the road, you might not notice that the car in front of you has slowed and rear end it. When driving, continually scan the whole view and be aware of everything around you.
In the event of hazards, do you have an escape plan?
If the car in front of you or the car a few vehicles ahead of you blows a tire and its driver loses control, where would you go? Had you noticed whether a shoulder existed on the side of the road or how the road was banked? If you left ample room between your car and other cars, you could see that quickly changing lanes would not be dangerous. The best way to maintain an escape plan begins with staying alert and always keeping a buffer of space between your car and other cars.
Please put your defensive driving skills to use. The Law Offices of David R. Lewis & Associates wishes you a happy and safe spring and summer!