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Obesity Increases Chances of Being Killed in Crash

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2013 | Wrongful Death

By Pendergast Law on February 1, 2013

There are many factors that could affect whether or not someone will survive a Washington car accident, including the speed of the impact, types of vehicles involved, and whether or not safety belts were worn at the time of the crash. A new study suggests that obesity can affect a vehicle occupant’s chances of surviving a crash as well.

According to a study that was published in Emergency Medicine Journal, morbidly obese individuals are 80 percent more likely to die in a car crash. The study looked at thousands of accidents and the occupants involved between the years 1996 and 2008. The study goes on to say that you do not have to be morbidly obese to have an increased chance of being the victim of a fatal auto accident. Obese drivers with a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 35 are 20 percent more likely to die in a crash when compared to individuals of normal weight. Researchers say that these findings even hold up when considering seat belt use, air bag deployment, and alcohol use.

As reported in, obese people are more likely to suffer from medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, which may increase their chances of dying in a crash. Vehicles are also not designed for obese motorists. The study found that obese drivers moved in their seats during a collision farther than normal-weight drivers before their seatbelt halted their movement. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, there were 454 traffic fatalities in the year 2011. During that same year, 2,122 people were seriously injured and 43,015 sustained minor injuries in Washington traffic accidents.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Washington car accident, please do not hesitate to call the law offices of Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. Our experienced car accident attorneys will protect your rights while helping you pursue fair compensation for the damages you have suffered. We provide free consultations at 888-539-9211 to anyone who has been injured in a Washington traffic accident.