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Obese much more likely to die in car crashes than normal weight drivers
Date:1/21/2013

vel III they were almost twice as likely to die.

Interestingly underweight men were also more likely to die in a collision than their normal weight peers.

There were no significant differences among different types of vehicle, collision or use of seat belts, although almost a third of drivers who sustained a fatal injury were not properly belted.

The authors point to other research, showing that the lower body of obese drivers is propelled further forward on impact before the seatbelt engages the pelvis, because of the additional soft tissue which prevents the belt from fitting snugly, while the upper body is held back.

They also suggest that obese drivers may be more likely to have underlying health problems, which may contribute to their greater risk of death. But car design may need to change, they venture.

"The ability of passenger vehicles to protect overweight or obese occupants may have increasingly important public health implications, given the continuing obesity epidemic in the USA," they write. And they add: "It may be the case that passenger vehicles are well designed to protect normal weight vehicle occupants but are deficient in protecting overweight or obese occupants."


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Contact: Emma Dickinson
edickinson@bmjgroup.com
44-020-738-36529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Source:Eurekalert

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