Driving a boat is not like driving a car. Unfortunately, however, that is one critical distinction that many new boaters fail to make. They assume that a speedboat is going to drive like a sports car or that a JetSki is going to drive like a motorcycle.
But boats and JetSkis have no brakes, so there is no way to immediately bring them to a stop. Instead, drivers have to reduce thrust well in advance, allowing the drag from the water’s surface to slow the craft down.
What this means is that a near miss often can’t be avoided. If someone is coming into the dock much too quickly, there’s no way to slam on the brakes and stop. They can certainly reduce the throttle, but the boat is still going to collide with the dock. With larger boats, you’ll sometimes see drivers come in so close that they are fully committed. By the time they realize they can’t stop, they don’t even have space to turn and avoid the collision. It just becomes inevitable at a certain point. The same is true for collisions between watercraft.
Increasing the risks
Experienced boaters eventually learn how to drive their craft properly. But this misunderstanding of how boats work can significantly increase the risks on the water, especially in areas where tourists are common. They may be renting watercraft for the first time. They have very little experience and they honestly do not know how much different a boat is than a car. They can cause serious accidents, injuries and fatalities due to mistakes that happen in just a few seconds.
You can’t always guarantee that those around you on the lake are going to be operating their craft safely. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.