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Wear Your Life Jacket -- 5 Bad Excuses People Make

During summer, many locals across Texas who own or rent a boat take their watercraft out for a fun day under the sun. Texas boasts many popular boating locations, such as Lake Travis or South Padre Island, where people gather to partake in all different kinds of water-related activities. Some examples include water skiing, water boarding, parasailing, tubing, or simply swimming in a hidden cove or out in deep blue waters.

Regardless of what activities you enjoy, it is imperative to wear a life jacket while out on the lake or ocean. Many people sigh and groan at the mention of buckling on a jacket, and often offer excuses to worm out of wearing one.  Here are five excuses you have probably heard (or made yourself) and why they are wrong:

5. "I'm not a little kid." Many people associate life jackets with young children and swimming inexperience. Nothing could be further from the truth. The lake or ocean can be a dangerous place both for children and adults alike. Whether you are a child or adult, a novice or an Olympic gold-medal swimmer, a life jacket will protect your life.

4. "It's too hot to wear a life jacket." Traditional life jackets are big, bulky, and cover much of your upper body--not a combination that mixes well with the Texas heat. However, heat resistant and airflow life jackets are available for purchase. If heat is your main concern, consider investing in one of these specialty jackets.

3. "It doesn't look cool." This is another complaint that stems from the traditional life jacket --  the big and bulky structure, and bright orange colors. Many find life jackets unappealing. You may wish to look attractive while out under the sun, and worry that a life jacket detracts from this. Fortunately, modern life jackets come in a variety of stylish designs can complement whatever aesthetic you are aiming for.

2. "We have a safe driver." Even if the driver of your boat is safe, boating accidents can happen at any time and any place while on the water. Another boat driver may recklessly crash into your boat, or your driver may hit an unforeseen stray wave. Both of these example scenarios can be disastrous if you are not wearing a life jacket.

1. "I'm a strong swimmer." While swimming skills certainly help, sometimes it is not enough to save you in the case of an emergency. In these scenarios, you may not be in a clear state of mind. You may be shocked, disoriented, intoxicated, wounded, or unconscious -- all dangerous conditions which can inhibit your ability to swim. This is where the life jacket's protection will keep you safe regardless of your mental or physical condition.

Remember these things the next time you set out on your boat this summer. Want to learn more about avoiding boating accidents and personal safety? Have you or a loved one been injured while out on the water? Colley & Colley are here to help. Contact an experienced East Texas lawyer to get expert counsel and guidance.