Reminders About Safely Transporting Your Boating Vessel Following Lynn Haven Crash

The Pittman Firm believes in keeping our community members safe by sharing reminders in the wake of collisions on area roadways. We believe in helping victims recover, but we also believe in preventing collisions whenever possible. There are valuable lessons to be learned from accidents, regardless of fault.

WJGH is reporting on a collision that occurred in Lynn Haven during the early morning hours of Wednesday June 20th. Witnesses questioned by the police reported that, at approximately 3:30 A.M., a red pickup truck ran a red light at the intersection of highways 389 and 390. Another vehicle, one that had a trailered boat hooked-up to it, was entering the intersection at the same moment. The driver who was hauling the boat swerved to avoid a direct collision, but the pickup hit the trailer.

The collision had sufficient force to cause the boat to end up on top of the truck, crushing the pickup. In addition to police, responders from the Bay County and Lynn Haven Fire Departments were called to the scene. A crane was used to lift the boat off the pickup truck. Fire officials had to use the jaws of life to extract the pickup's driver from his vehicle. An ambulance took the driver to the hospital. His condition was not known at the time of WJGH's report.

While the report suggests the Lynn Haven crash was due to the failure of the pickup's driver to heed a red light, and we do not intend to imply any fault on the part of the other driver, it is still important to remember that trailing a boat requires particular care. Drivers looking to transport a boat should purchase a trailer that has been certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association. That group requires that boat trailer manufacturers meet industry and government safety standards. Trailers are certified in a number of areas, including but not limited to: capacity ratings, safety chains, brakes, and conspicuity systems. Inspectors visit trailer manufacturers and physically review every model.

People looking to tow a boat for the first time should consult the owner's manual to determine the towing capacity of their vehicle. A typical family car may not be suitable for towing anything bigger that a small aluminum fishing boat, while an SUV or pickup might be able to handle a 25-foot vessel. Be sure to consider the "dry weight" of the boat (listed in the manual) plus the added fuel and gear which can account for several hundred added pounds. The Discover Boating site includes a safety checklist to consult before trailering your vessel. Remember that maintaining your trailing equipment is just as essential as maintaining both your boat and your motor vehicle.

While the recent Lynn Haven accident appears to have been the fault of another driver, it is always important to make transporting your boat as safe as possible. If a collision does occur and you believe another person is responsible for the incident, please contact our experienced Panama City injury lawyer for a free initial consultation.

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