JSI RESOURCES: Journal article

Factors associated with life jacket use among cabin sailboat and day sailor boaters in the United States

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In 2015, drowning accounted for 68% of the 626 recreational boating-related deaths in the United States. Although life jackets are estimated to prevent between 50% to 80% of boating deaths, approximately 83% of sailboat-related drowning victims were reported to not be wearing life jackets. Life jacket use among adult boaters has remained consistently low across most boat types and may vary by boater, boating, and environmental conditions. Although many risky environmental and boating factors may be associated with a higher risk of boating death, drowning occurs in all situations and it is useful to understand adult life jacket wearing behaviors in differing boating situations. This study uses observational survey data from 61318 adult sailors collected during the summer months of 1999 – 2017 from 124 selected study sites across 30 states in the US.

Authors: Natalie Spitzer, Maile Thayer, Wendy Chow, Tom Mangione

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