Boating Safety Tips

Spring will be here soon, and the pleasant weather and warm sun will follow. Those who own boats will likely spend a weekend or a day at the lake with friends and family.

While boating is fun and relaxing, it is also a big responsibility. Be sure to enjoy it while keeping the following safety tips in mind:

  • Check the weather before you go. Save your boating for a day when the forecast is clear and warm. If you’re out on the water and the clouds start to get dark or the temperature drops suddenly, head back to safety.
  • Designate an assistant. Make sure at least two people on the boat know how to operate it. If one becomes ill or incapacitated, the other can bring the rest of the boaters to shore.
  • Take a Boating Course. Boating education requirements vary, but most states require at least one boating safety course. Classes are also available online to help you prepare.
  • Safety Checks. Have your boat checked at least once a year by a qualified technician, and get a vessel safety check from the United States Power Squadrons or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
  • Save the Alcohol for Later. Alcohol doubles the chances for a boating accident (http://www.boatus.org/alcohol-and-boating/), and alcohol effects are heightened in the sun and wind. Stay safe and have a drink when you get back to dry land.

Stay safe while enjoying the boating season, the peaceful tranquility of the water, and the time together with your friends and family. If you have any questions about boating safety, insuring your boat, or insurance for your family or business, feel free to contact us.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

As spring arrives and the warmer weather hits Ohio, we’ll likely see more motorcycles out on our streets and highways. If you’re a motorcycle owner ready to experience the open road, here are some tips for staying safe:

  • Take a class. Find a Motorcycle Safety Foundation riding course in your area. It will teach you both basic and advanced techniques, as well as how to perform emergency maneuvers. You may even be eligible for discounts on your motorcycle insurance.
  • Wear protective equipment. A helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment for motorcycle riding. Choose one that fits properly and meets the Department of Transportation standards. Don’t forget about gloves, boots, goggles and a face shied, which will protect you from wind chill, flying bugs, debris and road rash.
  • Watch the weather. Rain can make the roads slippery and reduce your visibility. If you have to ride in the rain, avoid sliding by being gentle with the breaks, throttle and steering. Remember that you have two wheels – not four – so you have half the traction you are used to.
  • Ride defensively. Ride at a pace that is comfortable for you. Keep your distance from other bikes and vehicles, and use your turn signals to let the other drivers know your intentions. A study of the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research (http://www.alertdriving.com/home/fleet-alert-magazine/north-america/Florida-study-shows-cars-cause-majority-of-motorcycle-accidents) found that car drivers were at fault 60 percent of the time in motorcycle-car collisions.
  • Beware of road hazards. Bumps, potholes and road signs can be dangerous when on a motorcycle, and wet leaves, pebbles and ice can make your bike slide. Be aware of the condition of the roads, and what debris or substance may be on them.

The best way to avoid problems on a motorcycle is to be prepared. So take the extra precautions to make sure your ride is safe and enjoyable.

For more information about motorcycle safety tips, insuring your motorcycle, or insurance for your family or business, feel free to contact us.