As spring approaches, many Kentucky residents enjoy spending sunny days at Lake Cumberland and other local bodies of water. Before you take your first boat trip of the season, refresh yourself about safety on the lake.
Review these Kentucky safe boating laws and other tips for preventing accidents and injuries.
Motorboat operators on public Kentucky water must be at least 12 years old for personal watercraft and other craft with at least 10 horsepower. Boaters ages 12 to 17 must have a state safe boating certificate card or proof of completion of a boating course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Anyone younger than 12 on a boat must wear a personal flotation device.
You must put your boat into idle speed when passing another boat on a Kentucky lake. The state defines the following actions as reckless operation and would hold the operator in question responsible for an accident:
- Steering toward another boat or object and then turning away quickly
- Crossing another boat’s path with obstructed visibility
- Crossing between a boat and a person the boat is towing
- Jumping another craft’s wake in a dangerous manner
- Following another boat too closely
- Weaving through boat traffic on the waterway
If you or a family member experiences serious injury in a boating accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit for your medical bills and other expenses if another driver caused the crash. In Kentucky, you have just one year from the date of the incident to submit your legal claim.