RESEARCH

An annual survey of recreational boaters found the North American Safe Boating Campaign continues to have a positive impact on boater behavior. Conducted by Paul Werth Associates on behalf of the National Safe Boating Council, the annual awareness survey sought to determine the campaign’s effectiveness, specifically the impact on life jacket wear, attitudes and safety behavior of boaters .

“It is crucial to get an accurate view of how boaters are behaving when preparing or getting on the water and how they feel about wearing life jackets,” said Rachel Johnson, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council. “The survey reinforces the importance of the North American Safe Boating Campaign’s educational efforts on new, comfortable styles of life jackets, including inflatable life jackets.”

Leveraging a team of trained volunteers, surveys are collected in various states between April and September 2016. Based on the locations’ level of campaign activity, the bodies of water were classified as no, medium or high activity.

KEY SURVEY FINDINGS

  • Boaters who are aware of the campaign are significantly more likely than those who are unaware to wear their life jackets “always or most of the time.”
  • Boaters who are aware of the campaign agree with the statements such as “I believe drowning fatalities related to boating accidents would be dramatically reduced if more people wore life jackets.”
  • Boaters in locations with high campaign activity wear their life jackets when “conditions or weather is bad or expected to worsen.”
  • Top two main barriers to using life jackets are, discomfort and no legal requirement to wear one.
  • Boaters who wear their life jackets “always or most of the time” are significantly more likely than other boaters to be aware of the Wear It! campaign and recognize the campaign’s logo.

  • Some participants said boating safety education (23 percent) and hearing or seeing reminders (29 percent) to wear a life jacket might motivate others to wear life jackets.

SURVEY REPORTS

2016
2015
2014
2013

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY

If you’re interested in volunteering to collect surveys in 2017, please contact us.