The Straits Times
Published on Jan 22, 2013

Obese likelier to die in car accidents: Study


PARIS (AFP) - Obese people face a much higher risk - of up to 80 per cent - of dying in a car collision compared with people of normal weight, researchers reported on Monday in a specialist journal.

The cause could be that safety in cars is engineered for people of normal weight, not for the obese, they said.

Transport safety scientists Thomas Rice of the University of California at Berkeley and Motao Zhu of the University of West Virginia delved into a United States databank on road accidents, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

They dug out data from 1996 to 2008, covering more than 57,000 collisions that involved two cars. This was whittled down to cases in which both parties involved in the collision had been driving vehicles of similar size and types.