Obese Drivers Face Increased Risk of Dying in a Car Accident

Recent research shows having a BMI over 30 increases the risk of dying in a car accident

According to the results of a recent study, being obese could increase your risk of suffering a fatal injury in a car accident.

The research was done by the University of California Berkeley’s Safe Transportation and Research Center, using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The researchers reviewed thousands of collisions, using driver’s license information to estimate the BMI of the drivers and sort the accidents into 4 categories: underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese.

After controlling for other factors that can affect the severity of car accident injuries, such as size of the vehicle, type of collision, sex of the driver, time of the accident, alcohol use, seatbelt use, and air bag deployment, the researchers found that underweight, overweight, and normal weight drivers all suffered fatalities at roughly the same rate. However, obese drivers suffered higher death rates.

The risk of death increased the more obese the drivers were. Drivers at the low end of the obesity category (BMI 30 to 34.9) were 21 percent more likely to suffer a fatality. Drivers with a BMI between 35 and 39.9 were 51 percent more likely to die, and drivers with a BMI over 40 were 81 percent more likely to be killed in a car accident.

Car Safety Features Offer Inadequate Protection

The researchers noticed that wearing a seatbelt or having proper airbag deployment did not lower the risk of death among obese drivers. This is likely because these kinds of safety features are designed for individuals of normal weight.

Considering that 36.5 percent of American adults are obese, a significant portion of the population may be inadequately protected by current seatbelt and airbag design.

What To Do If You Lose a Loved One in a Car Accident

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, it doesn’t matter what their BMI was. What matters is how the accident happened and who is liable. So long as the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you and other close family members could recover significant compensation for wrongful death damages including medical bills, lost financial support, lost household services, and lost love, companionship, and guidance.

In order to preserve vital evidence in the case and provide your family with the best possible chance of securing full and fair compensation, you need to consult an experienced car accident lawyer ASAP. The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker makes an excellent choice. As southern California’s #1 car accident law firm, we have the skills and experience needed to make your claim a success and maximize your compensation.

Call us at 800-333-0000 now to get started with a free initial consultation.

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