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Obese Drivers at Higher Risk of Car Death

Obese Drivers at Higher Risk of Car Death

Obese Drivers at Higher Risk of Car Death
22 January 2013

New research has shown that fat people are far more likely to die in a car accident than those of a healthy weight. In addition, it was also found that underweight men carry an additional risk.

An analysis of over 3,400 pairs of drivers, published in the Emergency Medicine Journal, found that the additional soft tissue found on obese people prevented the seat belt from tightening rapidly against the pelvis, which caused significantly more forward movement away from the seat. Within gender, obese women were found to be at even greater risk than men.

Category III (BMI 40+) people were 80% more likely to die, Category II (BMI 35-40) 51% and Category I (BMI 30-35) 21%, with women in Category III at twice as much risk as their male equivalents.

In the case of thin people, their lack of body fat meant that they lacked protection, and thus were more likely to suffer bone fractures, raising their injury and death rate, compared to people of average BMI.

The study suggests that both education, and seat-belt design may need to be improved to take account of an increasingly obese population in the US and elsewhere. Or, people should be encouraged to follow the Goldielocks principle: not too much, not too little, just right.

[via The Telegraph]

(Image: Rex Features)