In addition to the natural Oxbow and Playa lakes, Oklahoma has more than 200 man-made lakes. There are more lakes created by dams in Oklahoma than in any other state in the United States, and many of them are great for boating. If you are going out on a boat this summer, it is important that you exercise caution. Boating can be dangerous, and collisions often result in devastating injuries.
Here are a few ways in which you can reduce your chances of being involved in an Oklahoma boating accident:
- Be prepared: Before getting out on the water, make sure you have enough life jackets for all of the passengers as well as a fire extinguisher and a bell or horn.
- Stay sober: Boating is often affiliated with drinking. It is important to remember that operating a boat while impaired is illegal and extremely dangerous.
- Require proper seating: It is important that you do not overload your boat past its capabilities. Try to have the weight evenly distributed in the boat and only allow people to sit in areas designed for seating.
- Be mindful of the weather: High winds, lightning, and rough waters are conditions that make boating very dangerous. As residents of Oklahoma know, the winds can pick up quickly. It is important to stay abreast of the changing conditions to avoid hazardous situations.
- Learn about boating rules: Maintain a safe speed, stay to the right, and never let an inexperienced boater take the wheel when the lake is congested.
- Use a spotter: Have a passenger with you at all times who is able to help you look out for boats, swimmers, skiers, and jet skis.
- Make sure the boat is properly maintained: Regularly inspect the cables and hoses for signs of wear.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an Oklahoma boating accident, please ensure that you learn about your legal rights. Financial compensation may be available for your significant loses. An experienced Oklahoma personal injury lawyer will be able to advise you regarding your legal rights and options.