According to a 2013 report on the adverse outcomes for pregnant drivers following a car collision, car collisions are an extreme concern for fetal safety. The study showed that vehicle accidents tend to involve high rates of pregnancy complications. Traffic crashes are associated with higher risks for the following:
- Preterm births
- Placental abruptions
- Premature rupture of the amniotic sac (water breaks)
- Birth injuries (brain damage, spinal cord damage)
- Internal bleeding
What can you do to help reduce these risks? You’re a safe driver, but what if someone else causes the accident? What can you do to protect your bump?
Caution: Baby Bump Ahead—Safety Tips for Driving While Pregnant
It is extremely important to recognize the potential danger your unborn baby faces if you’re in a car accident. However, recognizing the dangers isn’t enough. In order to protect your baby, you need to know how to safely ride and drive in a vehicle, no matter how far along you are. Don’t allow another person’s mistake to put your little one at risk, especially when you can take these simple precautions to avoid serious injuries.
- Limit your driving. The more room you have between your uterus and potential impact forces, the better. However, as your baby grows, your uterus will get closer and closer to the steering wheel, potentially causing it to be forced into your bump in a crash. Not only could this seriously hurt you, but is could mean dangerous or fatal consequences for your baby. If you must drive, keep your time on the road short, and keep a bare minimum of 10 inches between your bump and the wheel.
- Wear your seat belt properly. Many pregnant women incorrectly place their safety belts across their bellies, as if strapping down a basketball. This causes the belt to push straight into the stomach, uterus, and womb, causing severe problems for the fetus. In order to protect your baby, you need to wear your seatbelt below the belly (and bump), snug against your pelvic bone, to keep the strap from pushing on your baby. The shoulder strap should likewise be away from the belly and placed across the chest, preferably between your neck and collarbone.
- Avoid expressways and highways whenever possible. Higher speeds can create higher risks.
- Adjust your seat. Even if you’re only riding in a car, move your seat as far back as possible to provide at least 10 inches between your belly and the dashboard, the seat in front of you, or the wheel.
- Get medical help. If an accident occurs, seek medical attention immediately, even if your injuries don’t appear to be severe. Your baby might not have been so lucky.
- Get legal advice. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer for help and advice about possible fetal injuries and treatment compensation
How Do You Feel About Fetal Car Safety?
Given the potential risks involved, do you think there should be limits on when an expectant mother should be able to drive? Should there be special harnesses for seat belts or additional safety features in cars to prevent abdominal injuries? Do have additional concerns about fetal driving safety?
In the comment section provided, let us know your thoughts, opinions, experiences, and questions. We, and our readers would love to hear more about societal opinions as well as personal experiences. Not only will your contributions help us learn more about our clients, but they will help our clients gain the confidence they need to pursue their injury claims. You have the opportunity to help others and possibly even save a life. Go ahead and share.
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