Labor Day is around the corner, which means we can enjoy an extra day off to relax, have fun, and unwind. Are you planning on doing something exciting for this short holiday before the school year starts again?

If you’re considering an adventure out on the water this weekend, we want to make sure you’re taking the right precautions to avoid any unfortunate incidents. After all, the Coast Guard reported 4,168 boating accidents in 2019 alone. Keep these risks in mind if you’re hitting the water this Labor Day:

Driving Under the Influence

Drinking and driving is dangerous, whether you’re behind the wheel of a car, boat, or otherwise. While it is technically not illegal to have alcohol on a boat, boat operators should be following the same guidelines as drivers under the influence. To be safe, avoid drinking alcohol altogether if you are going to drive a boat, so that everyone can enjoy a fun and danger-free day on the water.

Distracted Driving

Unfortunately, distraction is one of the main causes of boating accidents. Despite the fact that waterways are far less congested than roadways, there is no shortage of incidents that can occur when operators become distracted. Avoid using a cell phone or other digital devices to ensure you’re focusing on the task at hand.

Speeding

Similarly to how you drive at safe speeds on the street, you should do the same on the water. By maintaining a safe speed, you’ll have ample time to react to and avoid dangers, like other vessels, rocks, and waves.

Equipment Failure

A boat’s condition can seriously impact its safety on the water. Before you head out, be sure to inspect the boat’s systems, its hull, and its propellers to ensure everything is in working order before leaving shore. It might seem obvious, but be sure to check your fuel levels as well. The last thing you want is to be stranded in the middle of the lake or river because you didn’t fill the tank before leaving.

If you’re heading out on the water this Labor Day, we hope you take these safety tips into consideration so that everyone can have a happy and safe experience.