A manufacturer of crash-test dummies has upgraded its models to XXL size after it was found that obese drivers are almost 80 percent more likely to die in a car crash.
Humanetics says it is making bigger-boned dummies that are now based on a 273lb person. This equates to 124kg or 19.5 stones and a BMI index of 35.
Seat belts are designed for slimmer people and don’t fit those of a larger persuasion, Chris O’ Connor, CEO of Humanetics told ABC.
“Typically you want someone in a very tight position with their rear against the back of the seat and the seat belt tight to the pelvis,” he added.“An obese person has more mass around midsection and a larger rear which pushes them out of position. They sit further forward and the belt does not grasp the pelvis as easily.”
This is backed up by a study from the University of Bufallo and Erie County, which analysed 150,000 car crashes in the U.S. between 2000 to 2005, found that moderately-obese drivers faced a 21 percent increased risk of death, and morbidly obese drivers faced a 56 percent increased risk of death.