Navigation Links
Obese much more likely to die in car crashes than normal weight drivers

The findings prompt the researchers to consider whether car design might need to change to afford greater protection to the considerable proportion of obese people in the population - currently around a third of all US adults.

The researchers used data from the US Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) for 1996 to 2008. This is operated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and records all fatalities arising within 30 days of a traffic collision.

During this period, details of 57,491 road traffic collisions were submitted to the system.

The researchers looked for collisions in which two passenger vehicles were involved, and for which the impact of the crash was the most harmful component of the incident, resulting in the deaths of one or both drivers.

They also looked for collisions in which both parties had been driving vehicles of similar size and type. They selected 3,403 pairs of drivers for whom data on weight, age, seat belt use and airbag deployment were available.

Almost half of these drivers (46%) were of normal weight; one in three was overweight; and almost one in five (18%) were obese.

Two thirds were male, and almost one in three was aged between 16 and 24; one in three was not using a seat belt properly - lap or shoulder only, rather than both - and in over half (53%) of cases, the airbag deployed.

The analysis showed that risk of death increased the more obese the driver was, according to the World Health Organization classification, which categorises obesity from levels I to III.

At level I, obese drivers were 21% more likely to die; at level II they were 51% more likely to do so; and at level III they were 80% more likely to do so than drivers of normal weight.

When broken down by gender, obese women were at even greater risk. At level I they were 36% more likely to die; at level II they were more than twice as likely to do so; and at level 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."

Contact: Emma Dickinson
BMJ-British Medical Journal

Related medicine news :

1. Obese White Women Shying Away From Colon Cancer Screening
2. Children Born to Obese Moms May Face Higher Autism Risk: Study
3. Obese Workers Health Care Costs Top Those of Smokers
4. CT Scans Deliver More Radiation to Obese People: Study
5. Weight-Loss Surgery Beat Drugs for Cutting Diabetes in Very Obese
6. Slow-growing babies more likely in normal-weight women; Less common in obese pregnancies
7. Obese Drivers Less Likely to Buckle Up: Study
8. Can Testosterone Therapy Help Obese Men Lose Weight?
9. Sooner Is Better for Controlling Obese Kids Weight: Study
10. One-Third of U.S. Homeless Population Is Obese: Study
11. Obese adolescents have heart damage
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, and ... in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and commentary ... of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , For the ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is ... a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the ... one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 ... brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live ... not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as ... City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those ... deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol ... of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the world ... in the report includes the following: , ... by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , World ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NAMUR , Belgium , ...  (NYSE MKT: VNRX), today announced the appointment of ... Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective ... the Company,s Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance ... Board, Dr. Futcher will provide independent expertise and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... to 2022" report to their offering. ... patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys ... blood and thus the treatment helps to keep the patient ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: