Is It Safe To Drive While Pregnant?

An expecting mother has a lot to think about: a healthy diet, babyproofing the house, brainstorming the perfect name, or even prematurely worrying about how to pay for college once the baby grows up! During pregnancy, most women are responsible. They obey doctor’s orders about alcohol, medications, certain foods, and strenuous activity. But while they avoid these things, even the most vigilant of expecting mothers— and their partners, families, and doctors, too — might be ignoring an overlooked danger.

Accident Risk Increases During Pregnancy

Car accident can happen at any time. However, during the second trimester of pregnancy, the risk of being involved in a car accident rises by 41%. For every 1,000 women, there are about 7.7 visits to the ER per year during the second trimester. While car accidents happen for a variety of reasons, including the reckless behavior of others, pregnancy presents a unique set of risks. During the middle part of their pregnancy, women may begin to experience nausea, fatigue, insomnia, and plenty of stress. All of these side-effects may have an impact on a woman’s driving, and may contribute to drowsy or distracted driving. Even when a woman is a great driver, pregnancy may still have a negative effect on concentration or other abilities.

However, pregnancy does not mean that a woman should give up driving completely! Pregnancy does not have to hinder everyday activities, and doesn’t necessarily have to get in the way of work, travel, errands, or anything else that involves getting behind the wheel.

Wearing a Seatbelt

Pregnant women, like everyone else, should always wear seatbelts. According to most sources, the proper way to wear a seatbelt while pregnant is underneath the stomach. If a seatbelt is lying across the abdomen, a sudden jolt during an accident could tear the placenta. Expecting mothers should also continue to use airbags in their cars. While the force of airbags seems like it could hurt the baby, it actually protects both the mother and baby, as long as the seatbelt is being worn properly. To alleviate concerns about airbags, pregnant women can adjust the steering wheel. They should tilt it farther away from their stomach.

Since accidents often happen as the result of other drivers, they are unfortunately not always preventable. After an accident, a pregnant woman should still check with her doctor, even if she feels fine. A doctor can determine if they are any complications caused by the accident.

Pregnant women, like all other drivers, should listen to their bodies and instincts. If someone feels too tired, sick, or distracted to drive, regardless of their situation, they should not get behind the wheel. While driving, always be safe. Everyone, not just expecting mothers, have other people counting on them to get home safely.

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The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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