Jet skis are tons of fun, especially in Texas. However, if you are not careful you may receive a call from a jetski accident attorney due to your negligence while using a personal water craft.
When the temps top 90 degrees, there is no better place to be than on the water, free to ride and play where you want. But the euphoria that comes along with riding jet skis can mask just how dangerous they can be.
The first thing to consider is the raw speed you can achieve. Jet skis can reach up to 60 miles per hour! That’s fast enough to get seriously injured.
An acute problem with jet skis is that they’re not very intuitive to control. For example, a person’s natural inclination to cut the power and turn when facing danger may be the wrong move to make. Maintaining power through the turn gives the operator better control in most cases.
Inexperienced jet ski operators also might not realize there is no brake on a jet ski!
With these safety concerns in mind, we’re going to go over some basic steps you can take to avoid injuries on the water. That way, you can enjoy the freedom and fun a jet ski can offer and still make it home safe.
Jet Ski Rules and Regulations in Texas
Knowing the rules goes a long way toward keeping you safe. They are established by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to keep you safe. If you follow the rules set forth by them, you significantly decrease your chances of injury or death on the water.
In Texas, personal watercraft (i.e. jet skis) are subject to unique regulations. Personal watercraft is defined by the TPWD as “a type of motorboat which is specifically designed to be operated by a person or persons sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel rather than inside the vessel.”
To become a lawful jet ski operator most operators (people born on or after September 1, 1993) must pass an approved Texas Parks and Wildlife Department safety course. Even if it’s not required for you to take a course, it’s still a very good idea and an effective way to make sure you stay safe while operating a jet ski.
Each person on the jet ski must wear a United States Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device. Inflatable floaty arms don’t meet the requirement. The tag on the PFD will state “US Coast Guard Approved” if it qualifies. Any person being towed by a jet ski is considered an occupant of the jet ski and is also required to wear a PFD.
Also, if the jet ski is equipped with a cut-off or kill switch, it must be attached to the operator of the jet ski.
A person cannot operate a jet ski at night, and children 13 and under cannot operate a jet ski unless accompanied on board by a lawful jet ski operator over 18.
Follow the TPWD rules to stay safe this summer.
Other Important Safety Info To Consider
Despite the numerous state and federal jet ski laws on the books, there are some other issues you’ll want to be aware of.
For example, many jet skis and personal watercraft have inherent flaws which can lead to serious injuries and death. They are often grossly overpowered and become out-of-control in the hands of inexperienced or younger riders, presenting a danger to the users and others in the area. The problem is further exacerbated if the jet ski does not automatically deactivate.
Another concern with jet skis is the water propulsion system itself. The water from the jet propulsion system can cause severe orifice and internal damage.
Make sure to read all safety info for your jet ski and also check TPWD updates. Be sure to go over proper safety measures before hitting the water.
That includes life jacket inspection, understanding right-of-way laws on the water, and how to avoid a head-on jet ski wreck.
If you are ever injured in a jet ski accident, be sure to contact the TPWD immediately. It’s also a good idea to contact a Texas watercraft injury attorney
In many cases, they can help sue for damages that will cover your medical expenses as well as your pain and suffering. Reach out for a risk-free case evaluation if you’ve been injured by an unsafe jet ski operator.
Stay safe this summer!