TheNational Highway Traffic Safety Commissionsays that sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. Your marine toilet professionals share why on waterways across the country, recreational boaters know that five seconds is a world of time to get into trouble.
Good news/bad news:Cellphones are the primary communication device for many boaters, said BoatUS Foundation Assistant Director of Boating Safety Ted Sensenbrenner. So while they’re important to all of us, we have to know how to use them wisely.”
The stress of it all:Adding to the challenge and unlike automobiles, says Sensenbrenner, is boating’s unique stressors of sun, glare, wind, waves and vibration. Research shows that hours of exposure to these boating stressors produces a kind of a fatigue, or “boater’s hypnosis” which slows reaction time almost as much as if you were legally drunk.
4 tips to improve situational awareness:Cell phones, alcohol and other factors can hinder knowing what’s going on around you, or your situational awareness.
If you’d like to learn more about safe, smart and clean boating, go to BoatUS.org.
Funded primarily by donations from the more than half-million members of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the nonprofit provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America’s waterways and keeping boating safe for all. A range of boating safety courses including 34 free state courses can be found at BoatUS.org/courses.
Many of us enjoy fishing, jet skis, or simply relaxing on a boat. In Texas alone, there are more than 595,000 registered boats. Whether onboard a sailboat, motorboat, paddleboat, or another type of personal watercraft, the operator must be extremely careful.
While distracted driving accidents on our nation’s roadways have become an epidemic and gained national attention, many boaters do not remember the same safety rules when they take their driving off the road and into the water.
Boating accidents are frequently caused after drinking alcohol. They are often caused when an inexperienced or unlicensed operator is driving the boat, operating the boat while distracted by a mobile device or another activity, operator inattention, or driving too fast. Boating while intoxicated is a criminal offense.
Operator error, distraction, and intoxication are unfortunately not limited to recreational watercraft use alone. Professional captains have been caught using cell phones during fatal collisions.
Distracted boating is as dangerous as distracted driving. No matter what or where you are driving, pay attention to your surroundings, use common sense, and don’t text and drive.