NEW YORK –Although it is not required by law, many people will agree that it is best practice to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. Thousands of people suffer head injuries each year because they were not wearing a helmet although it seems like common sense to protect your head.
The same theory can apply to boating. Maneuvering a heavy vehicle with a large metal mast on waters with 20 knot winds and waves that can swell to five feet is no simple challenge. Anything can happen.
Long Island boat accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say head injuries are some of the most common ways boaters end up hospitalized.
“Head injuries are particularly dangerous because they also increase the risk of drowning for boaters in Long Island,” boat accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “Over 25-percent of the serious boat injuries stem from a blow to the head.”
Since 1989, bike helmets have helped decrease serious head injuries by up to 90-percent and helmets could be excellent for injury prevention on the water.
Already, some sailors utilize helmets while operating high performance boats in competition but the safety hardware is rarely used recreationally, although it may be time to reevaluate.
Whether you’re kayaking, sailing, speed-boating, or rafting, a helmet can prove to be a lifesaver.
“A helmet is a great $100 investment for just about any activity,” Barnes said. “Kayakers and rafters can be in some fast rapids in shallow waters and one mistake could slam your head against some rocks.”
Boat accident lawyers say head injuries can cost thousands of dollars in medical bills and sometimes the injury never fully heals. Maybe it’s time to use our heads; and think about protecting them on the waters.