Tips for Driving Safely During Pregnancy
Now that your belly is expanding, you may be wondering what changes you should make, if any, in order to drive safely and protect your little one. Unfortunately, some accidents are unavoidable. Therefore, it is important to maximize your safety by following these guidelines:
- Though it may be uncomfortable, doctors recommend that pregnant women continue to wear their seatbelts during their pregnancy. Just remember to never place the lap belt above your belly. You should place the shoulder strap across your chest, between your breasts, away from your neck and place the lap belt across your hips and pelvis below your belly.
- Never place the shoulder strap behind your back or underneath your arm.
- Remove extra layers, like coats and jackets, so they do not interfere with the placement of the seatbelt.
- Continue to wear your seatbelt even if your car has airbags. Studies show that using seatbelts properly nearly eliminates the increased risk from airbags in car crashes. Airbags and seatbelts work together to provide optimal protection.
- Consider using a TummyShield, a new product on the market designed to keep expecting moms comfortable and safe.
- You should also move the front seat back from the steering wheel. Your breastbone should be at least 10 inches from the steering wheel or the dashboard.
- When possible, opt to ride as a passenger instead of driving. This will help you avoid contact with the steering wheel in the event of a crash.
- Drive defensively! There are a lot of careless drivers out there.
If you are involved in an accident, it is important to seek medical attention quickly. This is true regardless of whether or not you have any physical injuries. Trauma from a car accident can cause preterm labor and if there are injuries to the fetus, chances are you won't be able to see or feel them.