Driving on the highways of Georgia is dangerous enough at the best of times. When you are pregnant, you face added dangers. Pregnant women should take particular precautions behind the wheel and wear their seat belts in a certain way to safeguard their unborn child.
While a seat belt can pose a danger to a pregnant woman when it’s worn incorrectly, experts agree it’s safer to wear a seat belt when you are pregnant than not at all.
Motor vehicles are the leading cause of accidents for people aged 35 and under in Georgia and elsewhere. Wearing a seat belt can help reduce your chance of becoming a statistic. It’s important to wear your seat belt properly when you are pregnant.
How to Wear a Seat Belt During Pregnancy?
The safest kind of seat belt is a combination of a lap and shoulder belt. The lap belt should be placed under your belly, touching your thighs. It should be low slung on your hip bones, states the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
If you are pregnant, you should always use the shoulder belt which should fit snugly across the center of your shoulder and chest. Never place the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back.
Driving while pregnant is usually safe unless you are in the late stages of pregnancy, you should always keep your belly a safe distance away from the airbag. Don’t disable the airbag. Your breastbone should be at least 10 inches back from the dashboard or steering wheel. You may have to move your seat back as your belly grows larger. The issue of pregnant women and seat belts is a complex one. Seek out information first before buckling up. Some states such as Minnesota have published guidance.
Are Pregnant Women More Likely to be Involved in Accidents?
A study in 2014 revealed women who are pregnant may be more accident prone, at least in their second trimester.
Canadian researchers found pregnant women run a 42 percent increased relative risk of being involved a motor vehicle accident when they’re pregnant than if they are not, reported NBC News. The risk is especially acute during the first month of the second third of pregnancy.
The Canadian researchers studied records of over 500,000 women for six years from 2006 to 2011. They compared their risk of accidents before and after pregnancy. The women were involved in 177 car crashes a month over the three-year study period. During pregnancy, the figure jumped to 252 per month — a significant rise.
Car accidents are the leading cause of fetal mortality and serious maternal injury. As many as 93,000 women and their unborn children face complications from car accidents.
If you are in a car wreck while pregnant, see your doctor right away. If the accident is serious, ask to be taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure to check on the unborn baby.
Possible complications after a car wreck during pregnancy include premature birth, birth defects, and placental abruption, a serious condition in which the placenta partially or completely separates from the mother’s uterus before birth.
If you were hurt due to the fault of another driver while pregnant in Georgia, please call our Newnan car accident injury lawyers at (404) 913-1529.