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Obesity may reduce chances of surviving a car accident

Posted On Mon, December 27, 2010

Maintaining an appropriate weight is important for more than just immediate health concerns as a study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine shows obese individuals are at an increased risk of dying in a car accident.

The research reveals that the moderately obese are at a 21 percent increased risk of not surviving a motor vehicle accident, while morbidly obese people's risk rises to 56 percent.

Study author, and University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences professor, Dietrich Jehle says vehicle designs need to change in order to safely accommodate larger people.

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

Heavier individuals are also more likely to pay higher health and life insurance premiums. In addition to losing weight, there steps that can be made to help people survive a motor vehicle accident.

Driving a car known for its safety is a good place to start. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently established a list of "safety picks." To make it on the list, vehicles had to perform well on various crash and rollover tests.  

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