Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Obesity and risk for death due to motor vehicle crashes. Am J Public Health 2006 Apr;96(4):734-9 PMID: 16537660 PMCID: PMC1470534

Pubmed ID



OBJECTIVES: We examined the role of body mass index (BMI) and other factors in driver deaths within 30 days after motor vehicle crashes.

METHODS: We collected data for 22 107 drivers aged 16 years and older who were involved in motor vehicle crashes from the Crashworthiness Data System of the National Automotive Sampling System (1997-2001). We used logistic regression and adjusted for confounding factors to analyze associations between BMI and driver fatality and the associations between BMI and gender, age, seatbelt use, type of collision, airbag deployment, and change in velocity during a crash.

RESULTS: The fatality rate was 0.87% (95% confidence interval [CI]=0.50, 1.24) among men and 0.43% (95% CI=0.31, 0.56) among women involved as drivers in motor vehicle crashes. Risk for death increased significantly at both ends of the BMI continuum among men but not among women (P<.05). The association between BMI and male fatality increased significantly with a change in velocity and was modified by the type of collision, but it did not differ by age, seatbelt use, or airbag deployment.

CONCLUSIONS: The increased risk for death due to motor vehicle crashes among obese men may have important implications for traffic safety and motor vehicle design.

Author List

Zhu S, Layde PM, Guse CE, Laud PW, Pintar F, Nirula R, Hargarten S


Purushottam W. Laud PhD Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Frank A. Pintar PhD Chair, Professor in the Biomedical Engineering department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-33645467894   80 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Accidents, Traffic
Age Factors
Air Bags
Body Mass Index
Risk Assessment
Seat Belts
Sex Factors
jenkins-FCD Prod-331 a335b1a6d1e9c32173c9534e6f6ff51494143916