The overweight, the obese and the morbidly obese are much more likely to die in accidents, compared to people of normal weight.
According to new research, obese drivers, or those who have a body mass index of between 30 and 35 are approximately 20% more likely to suffer fatal injuries during a car accident, compared to persons of normal weight.
However, the risk of dying in an accident is highest for morbidly obese people, or those with a body mass index of above 40. These people were found to have a staggering 80% higher chance of dying in an accident, compared to people of normal weight.
Researchers at the University Of California Berkeley also found that the results were likely to stand even after accounting for a number of factors, like the age of the individual, alcohol use at the time of the accident and seatbelt use.
This is not the first time that Houston auto accident lawyers have come across studies that indicate that obese people are at a higher risk of dying in an accident. In 2010, a similar study found that people who had a body mass index of more than 35 had an increased risk of fatality in car accidents.
The researchers believe that obese people may be at a higher risk of suffering from certain medical conditions, like cardiovascular disease that could put them at risk of dying in a car accident.
Further, auto manufacturers have not taken into consideration the fact that obese people may have different risks in an accident, compared to people of normal weight. For instance, if an obese person is wearing a lap belt the wrong way, he could actually suffer from serious injuries from seatbelt use. Seatbelt and safety feature design needs to take into consideration the special safety challenges that obese persons face.