Jet Skis: The Pleasure and the Dangers

    /24-7PressRelease/ – March 19, 2008 – Although jet skis can provide hours of fun, they can be extremely dangerous in the hands of a negligent, inexperienced, or intoxicated driver.

Jet skis provide the same type of thrill as riding a motorcycle. This may be because jet skis borrow much of their technology from motorcycles. Jet skis come with powerful engines that range in size from 550cc to 1200cc. Interestingly, many companies known for making motorcycles also make jet skis. In fact, the original manufacturer of the jet ski back in the 1970’s was Kawasaki. Nowadays, a number of other manufacturers, including Honda, compete for this growing market.

Inability to steer

Despite the fun of jet skiing, in 1998 the National Transportation Safety Board[1] criticized the basic design of all personal watercraft, including jet skis, by stating:

“Personal watercraft have no braking mechanism. They coast to a stop,

and while coasting, there is no turning ability.”

Most experts concur that jet skis present special hazards because they will not steer when you let go of the throttle. This presents inexperienced jet skiers with an unexpected loss of control when something unforeseen happens. Unlike traditional boats, jet skis are rudderless. When the throttle is off, a speeding jet ski has been compared to a car sliding on ice because it can’t stop or turn, and the driver has virtually no control.

Dangerous jet ski design

Many safety experts also believe that, contrary to industry claims, the vehicles themselves, not just the riders, cause numerous injuries and fatalities. These critics believe that the design of jet skis makes them a menace, not only to their own riders, but to swimmers, kayakers, boaters, and anyone else who shares the water in good faith.

Similar to motorcycles

Because of their speed and lack of protection in the case of an accident or collision, jet skis present many of the same hazards as motorcycles. Both jet ski and motorcycle accidents[2] result in a significant number of fatalities a year, even though jet ski operators and motorcyclists represent a minority of the drivers on the waterways and roads.

Both types of vehicle are often enjoyed by thrill seekers and operated at high speeds. This thrill factor, combined with the absence of any protection in case of a collision or loss of control, means that jet ski accident victims are also more likely to suffer serious injury and death.

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