As we approach the beginning of another summer travel season, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairman Mark V. Rosenker reminded Americans in a press statement that a few simple safety precautions can keep us safe while we spend time with family and friends. Rosenker emphasized the importance of safety on our waterways by encouraging the use of personal flotation devices (PFDs) for recreational boaters. Every year more than 700 boaters die on U.S. waterways, and about 70 percent of those are by drowning. Most of those who drowned were in small boats, those less than 21 feet long. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the use of PFDs (life jackets) would have prevented at least 80 percent of those drowning deaths.
“It has been proven that life jackets will save many more lives if our
family members take that extra step to wear them when boating,”
Rosenker again urged Virginia and Wisconsin, the only two states
that do not require children to wear PFDs while boating, to enact
such legislation this year. Wisconsin is currently considering such
Highway transportation accounts for more than 90 percent of all
transportation fatalities in the U.S. The NTSB has long
advocated a series of safety improvements for highway travel,
including mandatory seat belt laws, age-21 drinking laws and child
Like PFDs for those on boats, being properly restrained in an
automobile is the best way to protect every person in a vehicle.
Unrestrained vehicle occupants are ejected 29 percent of the time.
When totally ejected, 74 percent are killed. When vehicle
occupants use seat belts, only 1 percent of the belted population is
ejected. When buckling up children, remember that children up to
8 years old need to be in a child safety seat or booster seat
appropriate for their height and weight.
For safety alerts on boating and highway transportation please visit
the NTSB Web site athttp://www.ntsb.gov/alerts/alerts.htm.