Car Designs Not Fit For a New Obese Population
The implications of an obese population are expanding in much the same way that our waistlines have been. The impact on overall health is well known especially with regards to weight-related illness including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some kinds of cancer. But what about car accidents? A new study has found that an obese population is more likely to not only get in more accidents, but have more complications after the incident.
The study, which was conducted by scientists at the University of Laval and is published in the Journal of Transportation Safety and Security, found that morbidly obese drivers face a much greater risk when driving. Car designs are made to fit a 163 pound frame and as a result, those with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 are not properly lined up with safety features like airbags and seat belts.
“Poor car-to-person fit is thought to be the leading cause of the increased risk of injury and fatality in [car accidents] for [people] who are obese or overweight versus [people] who are normal weight,” a portion of the study published by the Ottawa Citizen read.
Researchers commented that these car features should be more adjustable.
CBS Local reported on the study which found obesity may also cause more accidents:
Another study reportedly referenced by University of Laval’s medical researchers found that 800,000 drivers in the America with obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea were involved in illness-related car accidents in the year 2000, which supported their claims that obesity-related ailments also contribute to road hazards.
It’s a growing problem not only in the cars we drive but also in other industries. Airlines are also dealing with how to treat an overwhelming number of travelers that are too large to comfortably fit in their airline seat, leading not only to their discomfort but to the discomfort of their seat mates. And rescue squads are dealing with more and more patients that can’t fit on stretchers and within other hospital infrastructure like beds.
It’s a whole other dimension to America’s waistline expansion.