Obtaining PWC insurance is the first step in responsible ownership of a personal watercraft, but it doesn't end there: research indicates the majority of accidents, injuries and liability claims are due to a few very specific problems. Knowing how to stay safe makes it more fun for everyone.
- Follow age recommendations. Most PWC manufacturers cite 16 years of age or older as the recommended age of operators, but many states have their own ordinances. Play it safe by using the more conservative of the two ages.
- Always use a life vest or personal flotation device and the engine shut-off cord.
- Don't let others ride your PWC. Friends and family members might think it looks fun but according to the National Transportation Safety Board, over 80% of PWC accidents involved untrained operators.
- Keep a safe distance. The number-one hazard associated with accidents and injuries is running into other people or objects.
- Routine inspections. Don't assume everything is operating properly -- take time to personally inspect your PWC prior to each use.