Why are my parents so uptight about PWC safety this summer holiday? They won't let me ride my jet ski out at Lake Texoma anymore. | DENENA | POINTS


Houston water park injury lawyers’ reply: Accident statistics indicate the personal watercraft (PWCs, also called “jet skis”) may cause the highest proportion of serious injuries of any type of water vehicle. Part of the problem with the dangers of PWCs is that almost 80% of PWC operators take to the water on these vehicles with no training or inadequate training. And PWCs have a couple of dangerous quirks that make their safe operation counterintuitive for anyone used to operating other types of vehicles such as bicycles, cars, or motor boats.

 PWCs use an internally contained propulsion and steering system. Our Houston water park injury lawyers point out that the internal drive system allows the PWC to attain very high speeds without suffering the drag effect of external propellers. But once the PWC stops accelerating, the whole system stops. This means that the personal watercraft also won’t steer. And the PWC has no real braking system. The PWC must just gradually slow to a stop, which generally requires at least the length of a football field.

 So exuberant riders suddenly faced with an obstacle to avoid will often ease off the throttle and try to steer away from the impending collision. But once the throttle is idle, the PWC also won’t steer. And one of the primary dangers of PWCs is that there’s no braking mechanism. So the PWC operator often crashes at very high speed into the person or object ahead.

 Our Houston water park injury lawyers emphasize that no one’s immune from the dangers of PWCs. And it may be the several severe celebrity PWC accidents that have been in the news this summer that have your parents so concerned. Those tragic accidents (source: Tom Burrell, PoliceOne.com, 8/31/12) include:

  •  Sean Kingston’s PWC collision in May with a Miami-area bridge that left the singer with severe head injuries and brain trauma.
  • The serious injury of the Duke football team’s wide receiver Blair Holiday on the July 4th holiday when a teammate operating a PWC crashed into Holiday’s PWC.
  • The collision, also at the July 4th holiday, that killed retired astronaut Alan Poindexter. The astronaut’s PWC was struck by another PWC ridden by his adult son.

And just later that week, the injury of the artist Usher’s stepson by a family friend that struck the boy and a friend with a PWC while the children were floating in an inner tube. The 11-year-old was later pronounced brain dead. Our Houston water park injury lawyers wrote earlier this summer about the accident to caution readers about the inherent dangers of PWC operation. Learn more about the dangers of PWCs and how to avoid them by clicking on this article.