The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) has just released its 2015 Wear It! Campaign Awareness Research results, concluding that the yearlong North American Safe Boating Campaign (Wear It!) continues to increase the awareness of safe boating behavior among recreational boaters since the NSBC began conducting research in 2013.
The NSBC utilizes and relies on its grassroots volunteers and Wear It! partners to conduct the annual Wear It! Campaign Awareness Research to measure the effectiveness of the campaign, and its outcomes of safe boating practices and utilization of life jacket wear among boaters. Due to the exponential growth of trained volunteers, the on-site surveys increased to 1,072, collected from 32 bodies of water in 12 different states between late April and early September 2015. The approach to the survey was based on the location’s level of Wear It! campaign activity: the locations were classified as No, Medium, or High activity. Surveys were self-administered by boaters and a voluntarily follow-up telephone interview was conducted in order to gain additional insights and suggestions for the campaign.
“Our research results indicate that, quite simply, having the Wear It! message present at a location has a positive impact on recreational boaters’ behaviors,” remarked Rachel Johnson, NSBC executive director. “This is a great takeaway for anyone interested in implementing the campaign in their communities.”
- Boaters in locations with High Campaign activity wear their life jackets “always or most of the time” with a 90 percent confidence level.
- Boaters who are aware of the Wear It! campaign and recognize the Wear It! logo come from High Campaign activity locations.
- Those surveyed from High Campaign locations agree with the statement; “I worry about other boaters and their unsafe practices.”
- Boaters who wear their life jackets “always or most of the time” believe drowning fatalities among boating accidents would decrease if more people wore life jackets.
- Top two main barriers to using life jackets are, discomfort and no legal requirement to wear one.
The results from the study validate how safe boating practices are highest among those aware of the Wear It! campaign, which is consistent with prior years and its increasingly positive impact on more boaters’ behavior and attitude regarding safety.
Wear It! unites the efforts of a wide variety of boating safety advocates and is produced under a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. Follow Wear It! at facebook.com/safeboatcampaign and twitter.com/boatingcampaign. Visit safeboatingcampaign.com.