Accident dangers related to personal watercraft |

A personal watercraft, which is usually referred to as a jet ski or water ski, can be a lot of fun for the whole family. It can also be very dangerous. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, PWCs are more at risk of getting into a collision than other kinds of boats.

Some theorize that the reason why PWCs operators get into so many accidents is because people tend to minimize the dangers associated with a PWC as a result of their small size. In fact, most motorcycle owners would never loan their bike to an inexperienced rider, but PWC owners are highly likely to let a friend who has never driven one before borrow it for the weekend — or for a quick spin around the lake — completely unsupervised. The newbie PWC drivers themselves may also feel safer than they should on the vehicles and have a false sense of confidence.

The same rules apply to a PWC as they do to a giant, 40-foot power boat, but the small size of PWC makes them seem a lot safer and falsely so. In some situations, it might even take more experience to safely drive a PWC than it does a larger boat.

PWC owners should know that the majority of PWC accidents involve inexperienced operators, who are between the ages of 11 and 20. Personal watercraft owners are involved in just 18 percent of accidents, siblings of owners are involved in 29 percent of accidents and friends of owners are involved in 53 percent of accidents. An even more striking statistic shows that 84 percent of accidents involving PWCs happened with operators who did not have any boating safety education. Furthermore, 73 percent of accidents happened to riders who had been operating the PWC for less than an hour before the crash.

Depending how a PWC crash occurs, injured parties might want to investigate whether they have viable claims for financial restitution. Tending to accident injuries and paying for medical care can be financially crippling; therefore, injured parties may want to explore every legal avenue available that could help them pursue money to pay for their damages.

Source: Boat US, “Why Are There So Many PWC Accidents?,” accessed May 06, 2016