What steps should I take to protect myself while driving when I am pregnant?

Pregnant woman behind the wheel of a car looking worriedYou have a lot of things to worry about when you are pregnant, including the risk of being injured in a car accident. Learn more about how to keep yourself safe, what harm can be done in a car crash, and what legal options you have following a crash here.

Staying Safe Behind the Wheel When You Are Pregnant

Many health care providers overlook the importance of proper vehicle positioning during pregnancy. However, hundreds of expectant mothers suffer miscarriages as a result of improper belt and steering wheel placements putting too much stress on the baby. To protect yourself and your unborn child, make sure that you know how to safely position yourself and your restraints when driving and riding in a vehicle. The following are suggested belt and seat positions for pregnant women:

  • Never ride in a moving vehicle without a full lap and shoulder belt.
  • Sit as far away from the steering wheel as possible, while still being able to safely reach the pedals.
  • Wear the belt as tightly as possible while remaining comfortable.
  • Position the belt so that the diagonal strap rests on the shoulder (not neck) and lies between the breasts, but over the breastbone. The lap belt should rest on the thighs, above the pelvis, but beneath the abdomen. In no circumstances should the strap rest on or cross the stomach.

Seek Care After A Car Accident While Pregnant

A car accident, whether minor or severe, can result in serious pregnancy complications. In addition to external injuries, the trauma of a collision can cause after-effects which can include increased risks for:

  • Premature labor
  • Internal bleeding
  • Birth defects
  • Growth retardation (slowed growth rate)
  • Elevated stress levels and blood pressure
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Placental damage

Considering the risks involved, your number-one priority following a car collision should be the protection of your baby. It doesn’t matter if the collision was just a fender bender, if you or your baby suffered the jolting effects of a collision, you need to verify that everything is normal with your pregnancy.

When you’re examined after a car accident, you should expect your physician to order tests, ultrasounds, and electronic fetal monitoring to check the position and health of the baby. Once the exams and tests are finished, your doctor may suggest bed rest for the remainder of your pregnancy to prevent any further trauma.

Legal Options

After seeking medical attention, you can begin to tackle the legal side of liability and damage compensation. A personal injury claim can not only help pay for medical bills and property damage but, depending on the circumstances, may also cover pain and emotional suffering that resulted from the trauma.

For a more thorough discussion on your options for injury recovery following a collision, contact us directly at 877-959-8847. We’ll be happy to discuss your case in more personal detail and recommend the best options for pursuing a claim.

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