New Study Shows Obese Drivers More Likely to Die in Auto Accidents

Posted on May 8, 2012

A new study suggests that a person’s weight might have an influence on the likelihood of that person surviving a vehicular accident.

The study, which will be presented by the University of Buffalo in New York at Chicago’s Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, hinges on the fact that persons of normal weight utilize seat belts far more often than their obese counterparts.  In fact, after looking at 300,000 accidents, researchers discovered that regular-sized individuals have a 67% greater chance of wearing a seat belt.  This number lowers steadily the larger a person is.

When combined with research from two years ago that shows morbidly obese people are 56% more likely to die in a crash (along with a 21% increase in the moderately obese), it paints a startling picture.  The people behind the research are currently calling on automakers to figure out how to make vehicles safer for people of greater-than-average weight, suggesting that obese crash test dummies could provide a solution.

It should be noted, however, that people that are just described as being ‘overweight’ are actually slightly less likely to die in a crash.  This has to do with having a moderately larger mass and because they position themselves further from the steering wheel.

It’s my hope as a personal injury lawyer in San Diego that everyone out there learn a valuable lesson from this study and others like it.  This shows that any number of statistics can influence how safe a person is in an automobile accident.  As a San Diego car accident attorney, I figure that the more knowledgable we are, the more we can do to prevent disaster.

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