Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of Americans are obese.
Obesity puts people at higher risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers.
Now, a study in the journal BMJ has found that obesity can be a road hazard.
According to the study, obese drivers are significantly more likely to die in a crash than drivers of normal weight.
Researchers studied more than 3,400 pairs of drivers whose individual weights were known.
Mildly obese drivers were 21 percent more likely to die in a crash. Severely obese drivers were 80 percent more likely to die in a crash.
The authors suggest that passenger vehicles may be well engineered to protect normal-weight occupants, but may need new designs to protect the overweight.