Boating 101: What You Need to Know for Spring Break

Spring Break is loved by students and families alike, with many cramming the calendar with fun activities. Whether you’re heading out of town or sticking close to home, Spring Break is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the start of the season. Lake Lanier is a popular destination, with many locals flocking to its serene shore. But it’s important to remember that a day on the water can quickly become dangerous. Spring break boating accidents are all too common. Our boating accident lawyers know this all too well, so we’ve provided some tips below to help you stay safe during Spring Break.

Essential Boating Safety Tips    

Before leaving the dock, complete this checklist:

  • Make sure you have a properly fitting life jacket for every passenger. 
  • Check that your first aid kit is fully stocked.
  • Ensure that the boat’s lights, radio, fire extinguisher, and signaling device are in good working order.
  • Check fuel levels.
  • Consult the weather forecast to ensure inclement conditions are not expected.

Once you’re on the water, keep these tips in mind:

  • Follow all boating laws, including speed limits.
  • Never drink and drive.
  • Make sure passengers wear their life jackets at all times.
  • Be aware of other boats, tubers, or swimmers.
  • Assign someone to take over boat operation in case of an emergency.
  • Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.

Taking a boating safety class is another great idea to avoid spring break boating accidents. Whether you’re still gaining experience at the helm or simply brushing up on the rules of the water, these courses help decrease your risk of a boating accident. 

Legal Requirements for Boating in Lake Lanier     

Boaters must meet the requirements outlined below:

  • Keep a type I, II, or III personal flotation device on board for each passenger. (Type IV required for 16- to 26-foot boats.)
  • Ensure people on personal watercraft and those under 13 wear their life jacket while on the water, even if the boat is not moving.
  • Take a DNR-approved boater education course (boaters born on or after January 1, 1998).
  • Never allow children under 12 to operate a vessel over 16 feet.
  • Do not operate personal vessels between sunset and sunrise.
  • Make sure the boat operator’s blood alcohol level does not exceed legal levels (.08).

Emergency Response and Rescue       

Despite following the tips outlined above, spring break accidents and boating injuries happen. If you are involved in a dangerous situation on Lake Lanier, take these steps immediately:

  1. Evaluate the situation.
  2. Call 911 and request emergency medical services if needed.
  3. Deploy distress signals (flags, flares, etc.) if necessary.
  4. Administer first aid while you wait for help to arrive.
  5. Take photos and videos of the accident scene if you can.
  6. If involved in a collision, exchange contact info with the other boater.
  7. Once help arrives, get the medical care you need.

Contact Ross Moore Law Today! 

If you have been injured in a boating accident, you need a qualified attorney on your side. Here at Ross Moore Law, our trusted team has experience handling cases like yours. Whether your boating accident occurred on Lake Lanier or another Georgia waterway, our personal injury attorneys are here to help. Call us today or book a free consultation online! 

Conveniently located in the heart of Atlanta, GA, we are proud to serve clients throughout the surrounding areas of Athens, Alpharetta, Peach Tree, Marietta and more! In addition to Georgia clients, we welcome Tennessee clients as well! Get in touch today.

Attorney Ross Moore and our personal injury team handle a wide range of personal injury cases, including:

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5 Common Causes of Boating Accidents 

Water activities are popular among Georgia families, especially during the sweltering summer months. Residents flock to lakes across the state to enjoy fun in the sun, setting their sights on places like Lake Oconee, Lake Lanier, Lake Rabun, and Lake Chatuge. But a sun-soaked day on the boat can quickly turn disastrous. More people on the water typically equates to more boating accidents – and more dangerous injuries. So, just what are the main causes of boating accidents?

Let us explain

If you have been injured, Ross Moore Law can help. Our Atlanta boating accident lawyers will fight for the compensation you deserve, offering trusted legal advice as you navigate the days ahead.

Read on to learn more about boating accidents – and why our personal injury law firm is uniquely equipped to handle your case!

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Causes of Boating Accidents

There are several repeat causes of most boating accidents. Boating accidents may result from one of the following:

Drug and Alcohol Intoxication

Operating a boat while under the influence is not only illegal, but potentially deadly. In fact, boating while intoxicated (blood alcohol content over 0.8) is the leading cause of fatal boating accidents here in Georgia. While open containers are allowed, the driver must be sober at all times in order to operate the boat safely and prevent accidents. 

Boat Operator Inexperience or Inattention

It’s crucial that the boat operator has adequate experience behind the wheel. While Georgia law permits people aged 16 or older to operate a boat with the proper identification, new drivers are advised to take extra precautions – like never boating alone. Also, because operator inattention is another common cause of accidents, make sure to watch carefully for other vessels, swimmers, animals, etc. while boating in open waters. 

Increased Speeds 

Just like driving a car, boating at excessive speeds increases your risk of an accident. Boaters ignoring the speed limit are more likely to lose control, hit another vessel, or encounter other hazards on the way. Be sure to maintain a safe speed, not only to ensure the safety of those on board, but other boaters as well.

Mechanical Failure

Boat engines or other mechanical components sometimes fail, especially if they are not properly maintained. This can result in a variety of injuries, such as lacerations and burns. Mechanical failure may also produce high amounts of carbon monoxide – a toxic gas that is dangerous when inhaled.

Poor Weather Conditions 

High winds, heavy rain and lightning can make navigating the waterways treacherous. Here in Georgia, summer thunderstorms are a fixture in the forecast, so be sure to check the weather before heading out on the water. If it looks like a storm is approaching, head back to shore immediately. Plus, with temperatures soaring, dehydration is another threat. Make sure to stay hydrated!

Types of Boating Accident Injuries 

While accidents cannot always be avoided, wearing a life jacket can help prevent injury in some cases. Here are some common types of boating accident injuries:

  • Concussions
  • Drowning 
  • Broken Bones 
  • Burns
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Lacerations 
  • Spinal Cord Damage 

If you have been injured in a boating accident, be sure to contact your personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Ross Moore and his legal team are dedicated to fighting for the damages you deserve – including compensation for medical bills, property damage, and more!

Injured in a Boating Accident? Contact Your Atlanta, GA Boating Accident Lawyer Today!

Here at Ross Moore Law, our injury lawyers are standing by to learn more about your case. If you have been involved in a boating accident, our team will handle your accident claim from start to finish – gathering evidence, negotiating with the insurance company, and fighting for the fair compensation you are entitled to. Plus, we’re equipped to pursue a personal injury lawsuit if necessary.

Our personal injury lawyers near you will advocate on your behalf, freeing you to focus on healing from your accident injuries. For trusted legal representation when you need it most, contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

Our legal team is proud to serve injury victims throughout the state – including Marietta, Athens, Downtown Alpharetta and Atlanta, Georgia. We provide support for the following topics:

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Tips for Avoiding a Boating Accident in Georgia

As summer is starting to wind down and Georgians are preparing to get back to a regular fall schedule (or at least as regular as possible in the midst of COVID-19), there are still opportunities to get out on the waterways. Boating is one of the few activities that can be done while properly distanced in an outdoor environment where it is far more difficult for the virus to spread. And Georgia has numerous lakes, rivers, and parks that are perfect for enjoying the great outdoors on a boat.

If you are one of those who is planning a boating excursion, be sure to take all of the proper precautions. With years of protecting Georgia accident victims, Ross Moore Law knows accident are unfortunately commonplace for water activities in the Peach State. There are thousands of boat accidents and hundreds of deaths on the waterways each year, so it is very important to be conscious of boating safety.

7 Tips for Avoiding Boating Accidents

Here are seven important tips for preventing a boating accident in Georgia:

Understand and Follow the Boating and Navigation Rules

There are many different rules and regulations that a boater must be familiar with. Some of these are state laws, while others are specific to the waterway in which you will be navigating. Before going out, always know the rules that need to be followed and consider taking a boat safety course at some point so you are educated on all of the best safety practices.

Know What You are Getting Into

Weather conditions are always a major factor when you are preparing for a boating excursion. Hopefully, you will have clear/sunny skies and just enough of a breeze to keep you cool without creating dangerous waves. But we all know that perfect weather conditions are not likely, so we need to always keep abreast of the latest forecast and advisories. Follow any local advisories that have been issued, and if necessary, you might even have to postpone your trip.

Use a Checklist

Many people use a checklist before going on vacation, and a checklist is also a good idea before you go out on a boat. By having a checklist, you will help ensure that all of the pre-launch tasks are completed, and that you do not miss any important details.

Have Adequate Safety Equipment Onboard

One thing that should always be on your checklist is to ensure that there are enough life jackets/vests for everyone to wear, and that there are plenty of flotation devices available in case someone goes overboard. You should also make sure you have a first aid kit on board as well as a fire extinguisher and anchor.

Notify Someone that You are Going on the Water

Whenever you take a boating trip, you should always tell someone who is staying behind where you are going to be and approximately what time you plan to be back. Things can get dicey sometimes on the waterways, and there may even be times when you are out of cell phone coverage and unable to call for help. Having someone onshore who is aware of your trip provides an extra layer of security as they will be able to monitor your progress and contact the authorities to search for you if you do not come back within a reasonable amount of time.

Avoid Intoxication

Just as drinking and driving is a dangerous and often deadly combination, the same holds true for drinking and boating. It is true that alcohol is often a major part of many boat outings, but regardless, whoever is driving the boat needs to be committed to staying sober. No exceptions.

Avoid Distracted Boating

Another important issue that the boat driver needs to be aware of is getting distracted by his/her cell phone. It is tempting to take selfies and videos while out on the water, or even to send and receive electronic messages. But keep in mind that these activities are very dangerous when you are driving a boat, because they distract you visually, manually, and cognitively. If you are driving the boat, the best thing to do with regards to your phone is either leave it onshore or have someone else handle it.

Need A Georgia Accident Lawyer Near Me, Choose Ross Moore Law!

You can follow all of the laws and best safety practices on the waterways, but unfortunately, you cannot control what others do. If you or someone you know suffered injury in a boat accident, you may be entitled to compensation as long as you were less than 50% at fault. After receiving proper medical care, your next call should be to an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.

At Ross Moore Law, we have secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for victims of all types of personal injuries in Georgia. Our Atlanta personal injury law firm offers a track record of successfully managing car accident, truck accident, boating accident, motorcycle accident, wrongful death, catastrophic injury and other personal injury claims throughout Fulton County & the greater state of Georgia.

So, when you’re ready for experienced legal advice and legal representation, you can message us online or call our office today at (404) 905-3146. Ross Moore Law is are ready with your initial free consultation today!

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