Effects of Clinical Obesity on Seat Belt Fit

Obesity has been shown to increase the risks of some types of injury in crashes. The effects of obesity on motor vehicle crash (MVC) injuries are not well understood and current prevention efforts do not effectively address the vulnerability associated with the high body mass index (BMI) cohort. Previous studies that investigated the effects of obesity on belt fit and found that obesity effectively introduces slack in the seat belt restraint system by routing the belt further away from the underlying skeletal structures (Reed et al., 2012; Reed et al., 2013). The subject population in these studies have typically evaluated obese occupants (BMI > 30) and excluded individuals with a BMI >= 40 kg/ m2. As clinically severe obesity rates increase, the protection of obese occupants will become increasingly important in vehicle and restraint design. The proposed study will extend the previous research on the relationships between body habitus and belt fit to BMI >= 40 kg/m2. This proposal presents a work plan to build upon previous data sets to quantify the effects of obesity, for individuals classified as moderate to extremely obese, on seat belt fit, occupant posture, and body shape.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Principal Investigators:

    Jones, Monica

  • Start Date: 20150901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20160430
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160630
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40184

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01572182
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Advancing Transportation Leadership and Safety (ATLAS Center)
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC54
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 4 2015 1:00AM