Just as with cars, teens can easily get carried away when boating. Drinking, overcrowding, failing to wear life jackets and horseplay can result in tragic – even fatal – events. Far too many are reported in the news across the United States every summer during the height of boating season.
Imparting a message about safe boating that will resonate with teenagers is a challenge. In many cases teenagers don’t worry about their immortality and some will act impulsively and imprudently, even ignoring boating regulations while they entertain and try to impress friends. Others who are more experienced and come from boating families may think they don’t have anything to learn and find themselves in situations beyond their abilities.
Getting the Message About Boat Safety to Teens
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has tried making videos with devastating messages to get the attention of young boaters. This video was intended to shock teens into exercising caution on the water:
Interestingly, studies show that teens do not respond as well to fear-based video campaigns. The New Zealand Coast Guard has studied boater response and concluded that dictating behavior is also ineffective. Further, they conclude that education and peer pressure are keys to getting boating safety messages to youth, especially males. Here is a commercial they produced that is much more light-hearted in tone:
Parents of Teen Boaters
To prepare your teens or young adults for boating without parental supervision it makes sense to insist they pass boating safety courses before you let them head out in your boat. Hearing information and facts from boating professionals may make a greater impression on them than thinking their parents are over-reacting. Boating safety courses, like defensive driving courses, give young people the skills to know how to handle different situations well. Parents not only rest easier knowing their children are better prepared for boating, passing boater safety courses often means lower boat insurance rates for the boat as well.
It is also a good idea for parents to explain the reality of liability if young adults take friends out boating – not to mention the emotional guilt they would suffer if a friend was hurt or killed while out on the water. Youth need to understand the obligations that go with operating a boat and carrying passengers and demonstrate responsible behavior before they are given the privilege to take the family boat out for a spin.
To get a quote on insurance for your boat, contact the knowledgeable boat insurance specialists at Global Marine Insurance.