A personal watercraft (PWC) — often called a Jet Ski, though that is a Kawasaki brand name — offers a fun way to explore the waterways and coastlines in Florida, and people take these small, agile vehicles out all the time. They’re fast, exciting, easy to transport and cheaper than a full-sized boat.

However, the Coast Guard warns boaters that these crafts actually crash more often than any other type. Riding a PWC is certainly not without its risks. Why do we see these high accident rates?

There are numerous reasons. One could be speed itself. With their small size, they can flat-out fly, and it’s easy for someone to make a simple mistake that leads to an accident when they can’t turn or stop in time.

Another issue, though, is just a lack of experience. A lot of riders are out for the first time. When one person in a group owns one, they may think nothing of letting everyone have a turn, even though they’d never do the same thing with a sedan or a motorcycle. This relaxed attitude can mean that new riders get little to no training.

Age also matters. Younger drivers between 11 years old and 20 years old get in more accidents than any other age group. Part of that is inexperience, but you also have to consider a young person’s potential for risky behavior.

Remember, when a PWC loses control, it’s not just the rider who is in danger. Other riders, boaters, swimmers and water-skiers are also at risk. Those who get injured on the water need to know all the legal options they have to seek compensation. To learn more, contact the Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A.