Warmer weather is coming, and with it the opportunities to enjoy boating on Lake Tahoe, Mead and other Nevada lakes. Just as with traffic on the highways, congestion, negligence or reckless behavior on the water can lead to injuries and fatalities. The Nevada Department of Wildlife’s Handbook of Nevada Boating Laws explains that anyone involved in a boating accident must comply with state guidelines.

The NDOW requires that a written report be filed within 10 days after an accident involving property damage over $2,000. If someone is injured severely enough to need medical attention, suffers a disability that lasts longer than 24 hours, loses consciousness or dies, NDOW must be contacted right away, and then that notification must be followed up with a written report within 48 hours.

Anyone who is in an accident on the water must not leave the scene. As long as it is safe to do so, a person must help those who may be in danger or who are injured. The one who causes property damage or an injury must provide contact information, including vessel identification as well as name and address.

According to NDOW, boaters may be able to prevent an accident by checking the weather forecast, observing water traffic laws and watching out for other vessels. Even a good swimmer may become incapacitated by a crash, so it is important for everyone on the water to wear a life jacket. It is against the law to operate a boat if a person’s blood alcohol content is over 0.08 percent.