Remember: Jet Skis are not Toys

As the temperature in Phoenix continues to rise, most of our thoughts are consumed with visions of beach, lake or poolside vacations.

If you’re not plotting a trip to San Diego or Rocky Point, it’s likely that you’re concocting plans with friends for a trip to Lake Havasu in the near future. And what better to do at a beach or lake than to ride jet skis?!

While jet skis and other personal watercrafts can provide you and your friends with fun and entertainment, these motorized vehicles can be dangerous if proper precautions aren’t taken. And even if you’re being safe on the water, remember there are lots of others around you who may not be.

According to recent Arizona Game and Fish Department statistics, small personal watercraft, like Jet-Skis, were involved in 36 percent of accidents on Arizona lakes and waterways. Many of these accidents resulted in serious injury.

Jet-Ski and personal watercraft injuries happen for many reasons, including operation by inexperienced, first-time drivers.

Personal water craft are common, and so are accidents involving them. Realistically they are not any more dangerous than any other water craft, however it is the way people operate them and an apparent lack of common courtesy that causes many of their problems.

Personal watercrafts are operated differently than other types of watercraft, so they may require special skill and experience to handle properly. And people tend to underestimate the responsibility associated with operating them, often going faster than is safe or operating personal watercrafts while intoxicated.

Personal water crafts are different from conventional boats in terms of design, operation and use. Unlike other types of boats, their shallow draft design allows them to be operated at high speeds in shallow waters and close to shore. They are highly maneuverable and capable of speeds exceeding 65 mph. Common practices include: weaving between vessels, jumping wakes, spinning doughnuts, and radical changes of course, which is why several areas want to ban them (an extreme response).

Technically, a personal watercraft is a motorboat under the law. It must be registered, and must abide by all the rules that other boats must follow. You are required to carry safety equipment which includes life preservers and fire extinguishers.

Please practice extreme caution when operating water crafts and be alert of those around you. A Jet Ski is not a child’s toy and injuries resulting from watercraft accidents are often very serious.

This post was intended to provide general information only and is not intended as specific legal advice. You should not rely upon this information alone, but should consult legal counsel regarding the application of the laws and regulations discussed and as applied to your specific case or circumstance.