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Study: Overweight Drivers Face Higher Risk of Injury in Accidents
Written by Lindsey Burnworth
Last updated on January 29, 2013 @ 3:32PM
Created on January 29, 2013 @ 1:30PM
 
A new study has found that people who are overweight are more likely to die in car accidents than people of a normal weight. Not only that, the more obese you are, the bigger risk you face.

The problem overweight drivers face is that most of the time, they don't wear their seatbelts properly, and that causes a major problem.

The study's authors said that previous research showed that an obese driver's lower body is propelled farther upon impact before a seat belt engages the pelvis. The driver's additional tissue prevents the belt from fitting correctly, but the upper body is held back.
 
That's why people need to know the correct way to wear their seatbelt. It's important that they wear the lap belt down low against the lap and pulled in as close to the pelvis as possible.
 
Another issue that researchers have pointed out is that overweight people are less likely to wear their seatbelts at all. Police said that's one of the biggest ways to put yourself in danger when driving.
 
"For one thing, in 49 of 50 states right now, it's illegal to not wear your seatbelt. You should wear your seatbelt so you can stay in the car if the car was to overturn, or if you have any type of accident like that," said Chief Deputy Brett Carpenter of the Barbour County Sheriff's Department.

The study's authors did provide a possible solution to this problem though. They said car manufacturers should be looking at the car's designs and making necessary changes in order to make them safer.

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