Imagine it's a warm sunny day—perfect weather to go out on the boat. As you pack what you need for the day in the cooler, snacks, water and soft drinks are great choices; but leave the beer, wine and other liquor behind.
According to the Boat U.S. Foundation, almost half of all boating accidents involve alcohol consumption. And without the safety restraints that cars are equipped with, many of these incidents result in severe injuries or worse.
How does drinking affect boat drivers? There are four areas that are influenced by alcohol:
- Judgement: Drinking alcohol may make you more likely to get into high-risk situations, such as driving too fast or in dangerous areas (like shallow or overcrowded waters). It may also make it hard to discern the distance between boats.
- Reaction time: Just like driving a car, the higher the blood alcohol level, the slower the reaction time. It's important to be able to respond quickly to situations around you when operating any motor vehicle, boats included.
- Balance: Even a sober person can lose their balance when the waves are causing the boat to sway. About a quarter of boating fatalities are caused by a person falling overboard and drowning, so it's important to avoid situations that impair balance.
- Sensory overload: Bright sunlight, wind, movement from the waves, noise from the motor and vibration from the boat place bodies under a certain amount of stress. When you add in alcoholic beverages, the body cannot compensate as well as it usually does on dry land, leading to a higher level of impairment than usual.
You may think of times you've been out on the boat drinking and have avoided any sort of incident. But even if you happen to avoid an accident while drunkenly boating, you could find yourself with thousands of dollars in fines, your boating license may be revoked, your boat can be seized by authorities or you may even face jail time.
These consequences can really turn a fun day into a nightmare; so the next time you're headed out on the water, just leave the alcohol at home. After a day on the boat, you can sit down at your own house, relax and enjoy a refreshing drink without risk.
We value your safety on the water. Call Casey Insurance Group at (888) 537-1412 for more information on Miami boat insurance.