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Obesity may increase the chances of survival in road crashes

February 11, 2010

Obesity may increase the chances of survival in road crashes

Overweight men have a better chance of surviving a crash, but only if they're wearing a safety belt, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

In a new study in the current issue of the journal Traffic Injury Prevention, UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak, Brandon Schoettle, and Jonathan Rupp found that belted male drivers who are obese (those with a Body Mass Index between 35 and 50) have a 22 percent lower probability of being killed if involved in a fatal crash than belted male drivers who are underweight (those with a BMI between 15 and 18.4).

Read the full press release.

See also a discussion of the article in The New York Times' "Freakanomics" blog.