Pregnant Drivers at Higher Risk for Car Accidents
Second Trimester Prone to Car Crashes
A recent Canadian study found that pregnant women are more prone to serious car accidents. Dr. Donald Redelmeier at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences studied 500,000 pregnant women for four years before and after their pregnancies. The study revealed that 1 in 50 pregnant women will be in a serious car crash. As if a soon-to-be mother needs anything else to worry about, the study also showed that stress in pregnancy can be a high factor in causing car accidents. The second trimester is especially prone to car accidents due to stress, pains, busy schedules and a false sense of security from passing the first trimester.
Should pregnant women drive?
Nothing in the study proves that pregnant women are unable to drive. They should just practice defensive driving more so than ever before. Here are a few safety tips when driving while pregnant:
– Use those defensive driving skills your learned when you turned 16. Full stop at red lights, using turn signal, never driving when tired, etc.
– Wear a seatbelt. It may be a little uncomfortable now that you are carrying around a little person, but it is very important in case of a crash. Kathy Klinich with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute recommends that pregnant women always wear a seatbelt with lap portion low on the abdomen and with shoulder portion across sternum.
– Move steering wheel to avoid contact with stomach and insure airbags work properly. Although airbags have been known to cause injuries, if they are not defective they will do their job to protect you and your baby.
– Don’t drive if you are tired, stressed or if there is bad weather.
If you are involved in a car accident during your pregnancy, be sure to contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights.