Summer in Washington State is a time for family fun, outdoor activities, and staying cool - and many times, residents of Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellevue opt to take a boat out on a lake, river, or ocean. Whether you are in a small personal watercraft like a kayak or jetski, or whether you are in a larger boat like a motorboat or sailboat, a trip out on the water can be fun, relaxing, and exhilarating.
One of the best ways to avoid a boating accident and boating injury is to be aware of the boater's fatigue phenomenon. Piloting a boat is much different than driving a car, and many people don't realize that a day of fun in the sun can be exactly the thing that leads to their boating accident. Boater's fatigue takes place when the driver of the boat becomes tired and groggy due to:
· Hours in the sun. Sunlight can lead to dehydration, strained eyesight, and even sunstroke. It also leads to fatigue.
· The vibrations of the boat. The movement of the boat on the water and the vibrations of the motor can tire a boat driver quickly.
· Wind and weather. The elements can certainly tire a person more quickly than a person riding in a closed vehicle.
· All day on the water. We don't drive our cars for hours and hours without stopping, but a full day on the water can consist of just that.
Boater's fatigue can lead to slowed reaction times, mistakes in judgment, distracted driving, and boating accidents.