Expectant mothers know to prioritize their babies’ health and safety, which applies when driving. Whether they are drivers or passengers, they face certain hazards. The University of Michigan reported that pregnant women are involved in close to 170,000 car accidents each year; the American Journal of Preventive Medicine adds that automobile accidents may increase the risk for complications like preterm labor. Below, we share essential safety tips for driving while pregnant.
Wearing a Seat Belt While Pregnant
Even though it can be uncomfortable, expectant moms should always wear a seat belt. They can protect you and your baby from injuries or worse in a crash but only use ones that have a lap and shoulder strap (3-point restraint).
The lap belt must be beneath the belly and across the hips and pelvis. Place the shoulder strap between the breasts, off to the side of the abdomen. Do not put the seat belt right across the stomach. It should feel nice and snug without any looseness.
Are Airbags Safe for Pregnant Women?
Yes, because they also reduce the risk of injury. Do not turn them off, but move the seat back as far as you can while being able to reach the pedals. Try to have 10 inches between your steering wheel and breastbone. The steering wheel should also be angled toward your breastbone instead of your belly or head.
What if I Feel Sick?
Pregnant women may be more prone to nausea, fatigue, and a lack of focus. Any of these can cause car accidents, so do not get into a car if you do not feel well. Keep water and non-perishable food in the vehicle.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Extra food and drinks will also be helpful in an emergency. Also, remember to check the gas and fluids to prevent breakdowns, and let family members know where you will be going. It is also wise to have extra blankets and an emergency kit in the trunk.
Plan out your route on the GPS before leaving to avoid having to make adjustments while driving. Put your cell phone on Do Not Disturb, too, because that is a significant distraction that takes focus away from the road. If the weather report predicts poor weather conditions, wait it out whenever possible.
Offer to Sit in the Back
The back seat is safer than the front, especially when you sit right in the middle – this is where newborn baby car seats should be positioned, but only if there is a lap-shoulder belt. Let someone else drive when you can, and sit in the back and relax. It is best to be far away from the steering wheel.
A Mount Holly Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Protects the Rights of Pregnant Women Who Have Been Injured in Crashes
If you were involved in an accident, contact a skilled Mount Holly car accident lawyer at the Law Office of David S. Rochman. We offer free consultations and can fight to protect your rights. Call 856-751-2345 or complete our online form. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients in Burlington County and the surrounding areas.