A new study by the University of Buffalo in New York shows that obese drivers are much less likely to wear their seat belts than anyone else.

For the most part they do it because of the discomfort involved in trying to squeeze their frame into and around the seat belt strap. Unfortunately, despite their larger frames they are no less at risk of serious injury in the event of a crash than anyone else.

The university looked at data from more than 300,000 crashes and found that someone with an average sized frame was nearly 70 percent more likely to wear their seat belt than someone who obese. Even being slightly over weight meant that person was less likely to wear their seat belt.

The study does not offer any solutions for the problem of obese drivers not wearing their seat belts, but repeated studies have shown that wearing a seat belt dramatically decreases the risk of suffering a serious injury or even a fatality as a result of a crash.

Because seat belts are required to be worn by every one who drives the road in America, police officers are also no less inclined to issue citations to drivers who refuse to buckle-up regardless of their weight or size.

New York defensive drivers understand the importance of wearing their seat belts regardless of comfort, because they recognize that wearing a seat belt dramatically reduces the likelihood they will suffer injury or death as a result of a vehicle crash. Whether driving or just riding as a passenger, seat belts have repeatedly shown their value when it comes to saving lives and preventing injury.

For drivers, wearing a seat belt is not only a good idea, it’s also the law. And it is well worth enduring a little discomfort in exchange for a greatly increased measure of safety.