Pregnancy can bring anticipation, excitement, and new experiences. While your baby is well-protected within your uterus, certain everyday activities—like driving or riding in a car—can expose both you and your unborn child to serious injuries. In fact, even a relatively minor accident could result in fetal injuries that can result in long-term complications and even a miscarriage.
How to Keep You and Your Baby Safe
Fortunately, expectant mothers can ensure that they and their babies are as safe as possible when driving or riding in a car, truck, bus, or other motor vehicle. Here are some tips provided by BabyCenter.com:
- Use your seatbelt correctly – When you’re pregnant, it isn’t enough to just buckle up—buckle up correctly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that pregnant women place their shoulder belts away from their neck (but not off their shoulders), across the chest between their breasts, and make sure their lap belts are secured below the belly across the pelvic bone and hips. The lap belt should never go over or on top of a pregnant woman’s belly.
- Ride whenever possible – Do not drive whenever you have a choice. This becomes more important as your pregnancy progresses and your uterus gets closer to the steering wheel, as serious injury to your baby could occur in the event of a crash.
- If you have to drive, put as much space between you and the steering wheel as possible – Sometimes, you just have to drive yourself. If you find yourself in this situation while you are pregnant, move your seat back as far as you comfortably can and tilt it away from the steering wheel. Shoot for at least 10 inches between yourself and the wheel, and tilt the wheel toward your sternum rather than your belly.
- Try not to lean forward – When you’re driving while you’re pregnant, try to sit back against the seatback while minimizing the slack in your seatbelt. This will ensure that you move forward as little as possible in the event of a collision.
- Always wear a shoulder-lap belt – Regardless of whether you’re driving or riding, always wear a shoulder-lap belt—never just a lap belt alone. The center-rear seat is the safest seat in a vehicle, so if that seat has a full shoulder-lap belt, sit there.
Unfortunately, even when you are as safe as possible, the negligence of other drivers can still cause injuries. If you suffered injuries in an accident while pregnant, speak with an attorney as soon as you can.
Call Indiana Personal Injury Attorney Merry Fountain Today for a Free Consultation
Indianapolis personal injury lawyer Merry Fountain is a skilled injury advocate. If you are looking for an injury law attorney in the greater Indy area—Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Zionsville, Brownsburg, Avon, Kokomo, Lebanon—she’s here to help! Call her anytime at 1-888-242-HURT (4878), or simply click Tell Us About Your Case for a free consultation.