Boating and texting is a big no no

Boaters are required to keep their eyes on the water at all times.

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Distracted driving isn’t limited to just cars and trucks. Boating also falls in that category and this is what boaters need to know before heading out on the water. Boat docks at Brunelles Marina in South Hadley are already being installed.

Boat traffic will increase come Memorial Day Weekend and everyone needs to think “safety first.” According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Commission, “sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road, or waterways, for five seconds.” Five seconds is a lot of time when steering a boat especially on a busy holiday weekend.

“That’s absolutely not a good idea, that’s just an accident waiting to happen, for not paying attention on the water,” said a local resident.

Boaters need to be aware of the consequences of being distracted by your mobile phone. Being out on the water is not like being out on the road. Boats come in different sizes, shapes and moves at different speeds, leaving no time for distractions.

When piloting a boat you’re dealing with wind, waves, sun glare and vibration. Spending hours in these conditions can slow your reaction time. These are basics you need to consider before going out on the water.

“Check all your safety gear in your boat, make sure you have life jackets, anchor, line, throwables, paddle, flares and let somebody know you’re going out on the water. Have a float plan so if you’re not back in time, somebody can come find you,” Luke Brunelle of Brunelles Marina told 22News.

The rivers still running high but Brunelles Marina has started installing their docks.