Standard boating safety rules include wearing a life jacket at all times, creating a float plan, using common sense when driving the boat and avoiding alcohol. Boating laws and regulations vary depending on the area. One way to learn laws and safety rules is taking a boating course, which is required in some states to operate a boat.
Every person on a boat should wear a properly fitted life jacket, as the majority of people who drown from boating accidents aren't wearing life jackets. A float plan is information on a boating trip that's given to a family member or an employee at a local marina. The plan can include the route for the trip, the trip time and any other information the trip leader wants to include.
When driving a boat, a person should follow any posted speed limits and navigational aids. He should also avoid getting too close to other boats, particularly large vessels that take longer to stop or turn. Drinking alcohol increases the probability of boating accidents, especially because the sun and wind increase the effects of alcohol.
Federal law requires boat owners or operators to report serious accidents as soon as possible. Serious accidents include those that result in death, disappearance, injury or significant damage to a boat.