Morbidly obese motorists are much more likely than motorists of moderate weight to die in a car accident. A morbidly obese motorist can be defined as one who has a body mass index of 40 or higher. According to a new study, that could be because these drivers are much less likely to buckle up, compared to drivers of normal weight.
Researchers analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and found that motorists who are of normal weight are approximately 67% more likely to wear seat belts compared to obese drivers. In fact, the researchers were surprised to find that the higher the motorist’s weight, the less likely that he would buckle up.
It is a matter of concern that so many obese motorists are driving without buckling up. Wearing a seatbelt is the most basic safety precaution that you can take to prevent the risk of serious injuries or death in an accident. Considering the number of people who are classified as obese in the United States, it is likely that millions of drivers are driving around without taking these most basic of safety precautions.
But why are obese drivers neglecting to protect themselves by buckling up? The answer could have to do with seatbelt design. Automobiles do not come with seatbelts that are made for obese drivers. These drivers find the seatbelt uncomfortable to wear, and therefore, skip wearing the device altogether.
Automakers should be looking at enhanced seatbelt design, which would adaptable to the needs of obese drivers. This is one section of the population that seems to be vastly underrepresented as far as auto safety is concerned. There are specific safety concerns when the person is excessively overweight, and these need to be addressed