Bad news for overweight drivers.

A new study find that obese driver are 80 percent more likely to die in an auto collision than drivers whose weight falls within the normal range.


Study Finds Increased Risk for Overweight Drivers

The report from the University of California, Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research & Education Center suggests two possible explanations for the higher mortality rates following a car crash.

The first is the increased likelihood of other negative health conditions in overweight crash victims

Secondly, greater amounts of bodyfat can impair the effectiveness of the safety belt to do its job of protecting the vehicle’s occupants.

You can read more about the study’s findings in this article from Medical News Today.


Avoiding Safety Belt Injuries

Like we explain in our defensive driving courses, safety belts are designed to keep a car occupant, whether driver or passenger, in place so that the other safety devices — air bags, crumple zones, safety cage, etc. — can protect them. But to avoid injury from the safety belt, it’s important that the belt be worn across strong parts of the skeleton, the hips and shoulders.

When a crash victim is significantly overweight, the seat belt does not properly engage the hip bones, resulting in injury to internal organs as the belt is dragged into the body during the collision.

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