Objective: To examine self-reported safety behaviours among 3828 Alaskan Native and American Indian people enrolled in the Alaska Education and Research Towards Health (EARTH) Study, 2004–2006.
Design: A cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a cohort study. A non-random sample of participants (2322 women and 1506 men) aged ⩾18 years from three regions of Alaska completed questions on safety behaviours as part of a comprehensive health and lifestyle computer-assisted self-administered questionnaire.
Results: Most participants reported never driving after drinking (94.1%) or riding with a driver who had been drinking (91.3%). Fewer (74.1%) participants reported using a seatbelt always or almost always when riding in a vehicle. Only about half (55%) always kept to the speed limit when driving or used a personal flotation device when boating (51.5%). Even fewer (20.5%) reported using a helmet when riding on off-road vehicles, including four-wheelers and snowmobiles. Factors identified among those least likely to use safety devices and practise good safety behaviours are: younger age, lower household income and education, non-married, speaking only English at home, and a self-reported health status of poor to fair (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Recommendations for future injury prevention efforts in this population are to increase use of personal flotation devices while boating and address the underuse of helmets with off-road vehicles. Limited prevention resources should be used to target those who engage in risky behaviours to maximise programme impact.
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Contributors: DR is the guarantor and accepts full responsibility for this work. She contributed to the acquisition of data, statistical analysis and interpretation of data, and manuscript preparation. KH contributed to the statistical analysis and interpretation of data and manuscript preparation. RP, HS and LH contributed to the manuscript preparation. AL contributed to the design and conduct of the study, acquisition and interpretation of data, and manuscript preparation.
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Obtained.
Patient consent: Obtained.