Now that the weather is starting to turn towards summer, you are likely thinking about days out on the lake enjoying your boat. Whether you fish or just enjoy being out on the water, boating is an excellent way to take in the summer boating season.
Driving safely around the lake can seem almost like second nature when you have owned a boat for a long time. Since the task comes easily, it may not seem like a big deal to have other activities going on while you are driving your boat.
Here’s what you know about distracted boating and how it can impact the safety of you and others on the lake.
Similar to driving, the passengers in your boat can be one of the most significant sources of distractions. Often, they see you driving the boat so effortlessly, that it does not seem like a big deal to start a conversation that could take your eyes off the water.
You may also have young passengers or animals on your boat who can cause a distraction. While you should be concentrating on safe driving, young passengers may engage in risky behavior. Dogs might bark, jump on the driver, or even bite someone. If you are going out on the boat with small children or pets, you should make sure there is someone else who can be responsible for the children and pets.
You may know to put your phone away when you are trying to drive your boat, but there are other devices on your boat that can be distracting, such as:
- Passenger phones
- Fishing equipment
- Depth finders
If there are devices that are essential to your expedition, you should get comfortable using them before you start on your adventure. You should wait to use non-essential equipment until you return. Ideally, if there are gadgets that are part of your outing, you should designate someone to help you with their functions.
Distracted boating can be dangerous, especially if you are traveling fast or on a crowded lake. When you talk to your passengers about letting you focus on driving, you can help keep everyone safe.