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Boat Safety

July 11, 2022

One facet of Michigan’s identity is the truly remarkable lakes that populate the state. The 4th of July festivities may be in the rear-view mirror, but summer is in full swing and now is a great time to discuss a popular activity on Michigan waterways: boating. While driving fast or letting the kids drive the boat may sound like fun, Michigan’s boating laws and regulations are in place to ensure safety among boaters and lake swimmers.

For starters, driving a motor boat responsibly should go without saying. Yet it’s often easy to get caught up in the moment and succumb to peer pressures to “go faster” or “do a donut”! With reckless driving comes an inability to remain focused, a slower response time and greater risk of an accident.

And don’t allow anyone to get behind the wheel of a boat if they don’t meet age requirements. In Michigan, there are a variety of age restrictions, depending on the watercraft. For example, persons under age 12 with an issued boating safety certificate and a supervisor of at least 16 years of age on board are free to drive a boat with a motor of no more than six hp. Those under age 14 MAY NOT operate a personal watercraft (PWC) such as a jet ski or wave runner. A complete guide to age requirements for Michigan boat and personal watercraft operators can be found here.

Remember that life jackets are REQUIRED while boating. Michigan law clearly states that all persons in a vessel must be equipped with USCG-approved personal flotation devices (PFDs). Despite how strong of a swimmer you may be, the Michigan DNR stresses that drowning accounts for 75% of boating-related fatalities. So, take that extra second to throw on a life jacket; it might save your life.

The unfortunate truth is that while fun comes with boating, risk does too. It’s important to understand that boating accidents can result in severe injury or death. If a person is injured or killed in a boating or personal watercraft accident, the victim or the victim’s family may be able to file suit to pay for the expenses and to cover losses, including medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering.

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The attorneys of Moss & Colella have carefully chosen their career paths to fight for those that have suffered from injury and wrongful death. We believe every citizen should have the right to hire the best lawyer who will actively advocate for their case.

David Moss and Vince Colella have over 60 collective years of personal injury trial experience that provides you a level of legal services and success unmatched by other firms. By working together, we have the ability to find creative, effective, and efficient solutions to even the most complex cases. No matter what situation you face, we will help you get through it.

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