Moderately obese people, who have a body mass index greater than 30, typically shave three years off of their lives, just by being overweight. (Morbidly obese people lose 10 years, according to one study.) And then there's that long list of potential health problems obese people face in America ranging from asthma and diabetes to heart disease and cancer – as well as scorn and ridicule from skinny judgmental people. So it only makes sense that obese people are statistically less likely to survive a severe automobile accident.

A study of fatal accidents by the University of Buffalo suggests that the bigger you are, the more likely you'll die from injuries sustained in an accident.

In a severe accident, moderately obese people face a 21 percent greater risk of death and morbidly obese people are 56 percent more likely to die than those of lesser weight.

"The severity and patterns of crash injuries depend on a complex interaction of biomechanical factors, including deceleration velocity at impact, seat belt and air bag use, vehicle type and weight, and type of impact," says Dr. Dietrick Jehle, professor of emergency medicine at University of Buffalo School of Medicine.

With nearly one-third of the American population now considered obese, Jehle suggests carmakers begin testing safety equipment with big boned dummies and devise other means to help obese people better survive accidents.

"The rate of obesity is continuing to rise, so it is imperative that car designs are modified to protect the obese population, and that crash tests are done using a full range of dummy sizes," Jehle states.

Dieting and exercise were never mentioned.


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  • 72 Comments
      Randy Perkins
      • 2 Years Ago
      instead of encouraging people to be obese....why not give them a reason to lose weight ....like stay safer.
      Steve
      • 2 Years Ago
      If obese people cared about their health and safety, they wouldn't be obese in the first place.
      banstaman
      • 2 Years Ago
      "...so it is imperative that car designs are modified to protect the obese population..." OR how about we stop catering to them [pun intended] and go back to survival of the fittest? [Pun intended, yet again] In all seriousness, cars are already heavy enough, and with goals in fuel economy set forth, I'm not sure the added weight of safety tech would help much.
      Mchicha
      • 2 Years Ago
      Put the damn hamburger down
      marshknute
      • 2 Years Ago
      Car manufacturers are downsizing cars and mating them to more efficient engines. Why can't we do that with driver's as well?
        PriusBlack
        • 2 Years Ago
        @marshknute
        It is at least 1000 times easier to eat a bunch of excess food calories then it is to burn those calories off with physical activity : the trick to moving more and eating less is choosing active things "to do" that are fun, and to focus on eating slowly and mindfully and drinking lots of water with meals. Less meat eating also seems to help a lot of people shed weight. Avoiding HFCS *(corn syrup) seems to also help a lot of people drop the extra weight (see soda pop et. al.)
      PriusBlack
      • 2 Years Ago
      In other news, vehicle insurance providers find another legal reason to raise rates for certain customers.......
        Michael
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PriusBlack
        Good. Why should I pay more because someone else is disgustingly fat?
      fuguf15h
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, it should offset their increased fuel usage so it's all good.
      Cruising
      • 2 Years Ago
      When your body is so large that your entire gut sits flush with the steering wheel and your arm is pushed up against the window and takes up about 60 % of the surface area of the glass, you might need to think about some other mode of transport. I not trying to make fun of obese people but the man I saw in the Jetta the other day as I described above should be thinking about either purchasing a larger vehicle or just taking the bus. Anyone can be fat even the most fit person can eat junk food and stop working out and gain many pounds. Respect your body, it will thank you.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Joe
      • 2 Years Ago
      And then when the technology required to keep obese people safe balloons the weight of new cars by as much as a regular Mcdonalds customer and as such the fuel economy takes a hit bigger than his super slushy drink, well all find something else to complain about.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Joe
        And with cars gaining weight like an American at an all you can eat Mcdonalds buffet (if one existed), in order to try meet mpg standards, they end up dropping cylinders, hybriding everything, and end up pricing themselves onto another planet.
      Ammar
      • 2 Years Ago
      extra airbags never was a problem.
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have a great invention. BBQ flavored airbags. They save your life with a hickory taste.
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