Perhaps the most surprising finding was that excessive weight may prove a boon for pedestrians in a collision. Victims with an above-normal body mass index were found to have less severe injuries than their counterparts. “It is not implausible that a greater proportion of torso and extremity fat may protect against injury,” the report said.

Dr. Frangos noted that generally, overweight and obese patients fared worse once admitted to a hospital, but that perhaps “that extra layer offers some protection at the time of the injury.”