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Alcohol and boating-related fatalities in North Carolina Foss, RD ; Bartley, CL ; Smith, GS

By: Foss, RDContributor(s): Bartley, CL | Smith, GSPublication details: Alcohol, drugs and traffic safety, 2000; T2000, Stockholm, May 22-26, 2000. Paper, Description: 6 sSubject(s): Sweden | Conference | Drunkenness | Ship | Accident | Statistics | Blood alcohol content | | Man | 842Bibl.nr: VTI P4030:15Location: Abstract: Alcohol use is widely believed to be an important contributing factor in boating crashes and boating-related injuries and fatalities. As part of a multi-year case-control study of the role of alcohol in boating-related fatalities in North Carolina, we examined characteristics of 349 cases reported to the North Carolina Medical Examiner s Office from 1989 through 1998. Victims were almost exclusively male and ranged widely in age, although there were relatively few children. Fatalities occurred mainly in the spring and summer months, during the hours between noon and 7 p.m., and on weekends. In just over half of cases the victim was the operator of the boat. Forty-two percent of individuals age 16 and above for whom a valid BAC was obtained had measurable amounts of alcohol; 27 per cent had BACs in excess of 100 mg/dL; 11 per cent were above 200 mg/dL. The presence of any alcohol and high BAC (> 100 mg/dL) were generally unrelated to victim characteristics, position in the boat, or environmental circumstances. In comparison with alcohol involvement (for drivers and passengers) in fatal motor vehicle crashes, a somewhat greater proportion of boating fatalities exhibited measurable amounts of alcohol, but more motor vehicle occupants had BACs in excess of 100 mg/dL. Results suggest that interventions and policies to reduce alcohol-related recreational boating deaths will need to be substantially different from those that are used to prevent drinking-driving deaths.
Item type: Reports, conferences, monographs
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Alcohol use is widely believed to be an important contributing factor in boating crashes and boating-related injuries and fatalities. As part of a multi-year case-control study of the role of alcohol in boating-related fatalities in North Carolina, we examined characteristics of 349 cases reported to the North Carolina Medical Examiner s Office from 1989 through 1998. Victims were almost exclusively male and ranged widely in age, although there were relatively few children. Fatalities occurred mainly in the spring and summer months, during the hours between noon and 7 p.m., and on weekends. In just over half of cases the victim was the operator of the boat. Forty-two percent of individuals age 16 and above for whom a valid BAC was obtained had measurable amounts of alcohol; 27 per cent had BACs in excess of 100 mg/dL; 11 per cent were above 200 mg/dL. The presence of any alcohol and high BAC (> 100 mg/dL) were generally unrelated to victim characteristics, position in the boat, or environmental circumstances. In comparison with alcohol involvement (for drivers and passengers) in fatal motor vehicle crashes, a somewhat greater proportion of boating fatalities exhibited measurable amounts of alcohol, but more motor vehicle occupants had BACs in excess of 100 mg/dL. Results suggest that interventions and policies to reduce alcohol-related recreational boating deaths will need to be substantially different from those that are used to prevent drinking-driving deaths.

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