Car accidents are always scary, but if you’re an expectant mother, you can face an even greater set of challenges. Not only is an accident dangerous for you, but it’s also harmful to your unborn child. The expenses you may face can also be more significant than usual due to the cost of increased doctors visits and potential health risks to your child after they are born. There is also no price that can be placed on the amount of mental stress you can face. In this blog, we will be talking about the dangers of being in a car accident while pregnant and what you should do.
Common Issues You can Face When You're in a Car Accident While Pregnant
Luckily a miscarriage is rare in most accidents, but it can happen. Car accidents cause 82% of fetal deaths. The highest risk of a miscarriage is if the mother goes into cardiac arrest or if the uterus is punctured. Premature birth is another risk the mother can face; the stress put on the mother’s body from the accident can cause her to go into labor early. There is also a chance of birth defects once the child is born, especially if a premature birth takes place.
Placental abruption is also possible if the mother experiences abdominal trauma. Placental abruption is when the placenta wholly or partially separates from the uterus. Any accident can cause a pregnancy to become a “high-risk” pregnancy due to the increase in medical attention the mother may need to receive. High-risk pregnancies can become very expensive and cause a tremendous amount of emotional stress to the mother and family.
How You Can Stay Safe Driving While Pregnant
State Farm cited a study that found almost 170,000 pregnant women were involved in car crashes every year. If car crashes cause 82% of fetal deaths, let's take a look at some safety tips expectant mothers can employ.
Wear a Seat Belt
It's a shame to say it, but some women don't wear seat belts when they are pregnant. The first thing you should do is buckle up to improve the safety of you and your unborn child. You want a seat belt that has a lap and shoulder belt. The belt should be placed between your chest and on the side of your belly rather than across it. The seat belt should never touch your neck or be placed behind your back. The lap belt shouldn't rest across or on your stomach. You want it to fit snug but comfortably.
Additional Safety Precautions Driving While Pregnant
- Pull-over if you feel tired, nauseous, or dizzy.
- Confirm your airbag still works
- Try to avoid sudden breaking or taking sharp turns
- Sit at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel
- Tilt the steering wheel to point towards your breastbone
- If you ever struggle to turn the wheel or reach the pedals while pregnant get someone else to drive you.
- As a passenger, you should sit in the back as it is safer than the passenger seat
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident while pregnant, don't wait and contact Bart Durham today.
What you should do if you’re in an accident?
If you’re in an accident while pregnant, the first thing you should do is let the first responders know that you are pregnant. This way they can monitor you and anticipate any issues. You also need to go straight to the hospital, even if the crash seemed minor. There could be injuries or potential problems that you’re unaware of.
It's important to attend any follow-up appointments suggested by your doctor and keep in touch with your physician to ensure everything is going smoothly and that there are no other health risks. You should also reach out to an attorney if you are planning on seeking compensation for damages. It can be tricky knowing when to file when an unborn child is involved. Depending on the severity of the accident, there could be health issues caused by the accident that appear much later after the child is born. Talk to your attorney about your specific case for guidance.
At Bart Durham, we take personal injury seriously, primarily when it affects you and your child. Our lawyers are here for free private, confidential consultations to get more details about your accident. We can use the information you have provided us to assess whether or not we have a case and the next steps to move forward. Don't wait and contact us today.