The more a person weighs, the less likely he or she is to wear a car seat belt, increasing the possibility of injury or death, according to a story by the Associated Press.
Led by Vanderbilt University psychologist David Schlundt, researchers from Meharry Medical College in Nashville studied 2002 information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and found a direct relationship between obesity and not buckling up when getting into the car.
"They really have a hard time getting that belt buckle over them," Schlundt told the wire service. "They have to stretch it out and then over and then some can't see the buckle."
According to the AP, deciding not to wear a seat belt because of being overweight is more than a lifestyle decision. Schlundt's group found that only 70 percent of the very obese reported always wearing a seat belt, compared to 83 percent of those who fell into normal-weight categories.
And the latest U.S. government statistic show that more than half the people killed in automobile accidents weren't wearing their seat belts, the AP reports.
The research was recently published in the journal Obesity.