Summertime in Wisconsin is perfect for enjoying time on the water. Whether you are setting sail on a family-friendly pontoon, fishing boat, or old canoe, a day on the lake just can’t be beaten.

However, there are safety risks involved with boating. Speeding, negligence, drinking, and inexperience are all common causes of boating accidents in Wisconsin. In this post, we want to share a few tips to help you stay safe on the water this summer.

How to Stay Safe While Boating in Wisconsin

  • Wearing a life jacket - According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 80% of boating accident deaths could be avoided by wearing life jackets. When a boating accident occurs, you have limited time to stretch and get your stowed life jackets. Therefore, it is advisable to ensure that you and everyone on board has a life jacket while boating.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol - Alcohol consumption while boating is illegal and endangers the lives of everyone on board. Remember that intoxicated swimmers and passengers are also more likely to drown.
  • Be weather-wise - Whether you are operating a boat during the summer, spring or fall season, always consider carrying a radio and watching out for the weather. Sometimes, wind shifts and choppy water can be telltale signs of a brewing storm. Get to shore as soon as you realize the weather is about to change.
  • Don’t overload the boat - It’s essential to follow your boat’s load limit restrictions. Overloading your boat can make it unstable and surge the risk of swamping or capsizing.
  • Ensure all operators are trained - Human error is a leading cause of boating accidents. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that all operators can effectively navigate and operate the boat. You can do this by ensuring boating operators take a boating safety course that includes reading the weather, boat handling, and navigation.
  • Maintain a safe speed - Like on the road, you can face penalties or fines for overspeeding on the water. Since there are no lanes on water and different water vessels zig-zag everywhere, it can be challenging for speeding boats to avoid collisions. Therefore, it is essential to ensure you excess caution and obey the speed limits.

What Should You Do After a Boating Accident?

After a boating accident, you should ensure that everyone on board is safe. If there are injuries, loss of life, property damage in excess of $2,000 or the total loss of a boat, you are required to report the incident to law enforcement without delay.  

As with other accidents, it is essential to gather evidence immediately. You need to collect police reports, witness testimonies, videos, and photos of the scene. A Milwaukee boating accident attorney will help you gather the evidence you need to establish a strong case against the party at fault.

Contact a Milwaukee Boating Accident Attorney

At Natasha Misra Law, we are ready to help you get the compensation you need to move forward after a boat accident. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist in strengthening your case.

When you are stopped at an intersection that permits U-turns, you will likely witness some close calls when two drivers attempt to proceed in the same direction. However, if the two were to crash, who would be liable? As always, the answer depends upon the specifics of the situation, but here are some general pointers about U-turn crashes in our state.

What is a U-Turn?

A U-turn is a sharp left-hand turn at an intersection into the opposite lane. Generally, drivers are required to yield to oncoming traffic before crossing the intersection. Because many don’t, accidents can easily occur at intersections like these. In some cases, though, the other driver may be at fault, for instance, if he was speeding, running the red light, driving while distracted or impaired, or otherwise acting negligently or recklessly behind the wheel.

Are U-Turns Legal in Wisconsin?

Yes. Wisconsin law permits U-turns at controlled intersections, unless there are signs or signals to the contrary. Even still, all drivers are responsible for proceeding with caution, keeping a lookout, and using their judgment in determining whether it is safe to execute a left-turn into traffic.

Who has the right of way in a U-Turn?

U-turn accidents often occur when a driver fails to follow Wisconsin right of way laws. The law requires drivers turning left to yield to oncoming traffic and only turn left once the traffic has broken. This applies at both a green-light intersection and an uncontrolled intersection.

If you are at an intersection that allows U-turns and see the green arrow, you have the right of way. However, if you have a red light, you need to yield to oncoming traffic. Both drivers must stay in the closest lane and avoid cutting across traffic. If you are making your turn on a green light (not a green arrow), the other drivers have the right of way.

Drivers turning left onto oncoming traffic are also required to yield. Although oncoming traffic need not stop for a driver making a U-turn, it’s incumbent upon all drivers to proceed cautiously and to keep a lookout.

What Should I Do If I Am Injured In A U-Turn Accident?

After you seek the medical treatment you need for your injuries, reach out to a personal injury attorney right away. Our firm has extensive experience representing injured motorists in right-of-way accidents and U-turn collisions and can gather evidence to support your claim. 

Natasha Misra

My law practice is dedicated to helping people who have suffered injuries in accidents which were not their fault. Born and raised in Milwaukee, I come from a family of medical professionals. My background and experience help me understand and represent individuals injured in accidents.