A new Canadian study suggests that pregnant women are more likely to crash their vehicles, especially moms-to-be in their second trimesters.
The study, conducted by a doctor at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Ontario suggests that 1 in 50 women will be involved in s serious motor vehicle accident while pregnant. The study examined more than 500,000 pregnant women for four years before delivery and one year after and looked at whether typical conditions of pregnancy, including nausea, fatigue, insomnia and distraction were contributing to driver error thus leading to an increased risk of being in traffic crashes.
Pregnant women, even when riding in the passenger seat, are at heightened risk for miscarriages when involved in a serious crash. The study concluded a 42 percent increase in crash risk for women before they were pregnant and women during their second trimesters.
The author of the study speculates that women who have passed the first trimester of pregnancy may be feeling more chaos in their life, combined with insomnia and back pain which could lead to distraction when behind the wheel of a car. Pain, being stressed and having a busy schedule can all result in drivers being less focused on the roadway, and distracted driving has been proven to be a top cause of auto accidents.
And while at this point there is no evidence that proves pregnant women are less capable of driving safely, the following tips can be useful reminders to increase safe driving while pregnant:
- Always wear a seatbelt. While there have been debates on whether pregnant women should buckle up, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, all pregnant women are recommended to wear a seatbelt when travelling in a car. The lap portion should rest low on the abdomen and the shoulder portion should be placed across the sternum.
- Try and avoid having your belly make contact with the steering wheel. If possible, position yourself so that your abdomen does not touch the steering wheel.
- Never disable airbags. Airbags can cause injuries, but they can also save lives, including yours and your unborn baby.
- Do not drive when conditions are dangerous. While there are many ways to navigate safely in inclement weather conditions, such as rain, hail or fog, if you do not have to be out on the road in these conditions, then don’t.
- Be a defensive driver. As this study shows, being pregnant can create numerous distractions. Always stay alert when behind the wheel and focus on obeying traffic laws so that you can avoid a traffic accident that places you and your baby’s health at risk.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident in the Citrus County area, you need to speak with an injury lawyer right away to learn more about your legal rights and options. A Citrus County Auto Accident Attorney at Whittel & Melton can assist you with your personal injury lawsuit. For a free consultation, call us today at 352-726-0078 or contact us online.