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Stay Safe on the Water! May 19-25th is National Safe Boating Week

The entire team at Spiros Law, P.C. urges you to stay safe this week (and this long holiday weekend) if you are planning on boating. May 19th-25th is National Safe Boating Week, and each year, advocates push for safety on the water. This year’s theme is focused on the importance of life jackets and wearing them correctly.

It’s impossible to state the importance of wearing a properly fitting life jacket while on a boat strongly enough. Life jackets are responsible for saving hundreds of lives every year. Wearing a life jacket is not just important—for minors, it is the law.

The law on what age you are legally obligated to wear a life jacket while on the water varies from state to state in the U.S. The youngest age limit is five, so if your child is under five, they need to wear a life jacket while on board no matter what state you’re in. The most common age requirement is 12 years of age, with 32 states requiring that anybody 12 years or younger must wear a life jacket while on a boat. Be sure to check your state’s individual laws before taking a trip out to the lake.

Just as with the laws governing age requirements, the penalties for breaking the law will vary by state. All penalties will involve a fine, and some even include the possibility of jail time. Your lowest penalty is only $25, but depending on court costs and previous offenses, you might end up with a fine well over $200.

To avoid any legal issues and, more importantly, ensure that everyone is safe, make sure that all children on your boat are wearing a properly fitting life jacket before you head out on the water.

Unfortunately, even if you take the proper precautions for yourself and your family, you cannot control the actions of others. If you have been hurt due to someone else’s negligent or reckless actions while boating, contact an experienced boating accident attorney at (815) 929-9292 to discuss your rights and legal options.