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Auto Accidents and Pregnancy – Mitigating Your Auto Accident Injury Risks

Being pregnant, or a new mother, can be exhausting — especially when it comes to protecting your child. Women are oftentimes bombarded with information about what is good or bad for their baby.
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Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there are well over 6,000 adults who are injured in car accidents each and every day in the U.S. And the risk for death in these events can be cut in half by simply wearing a seat belt. Although the national seat belt usage rate is on the rise, about 1 out of 7 adults don’t buckle up during every car ride. And this is even worse when one of these unbuckled individuals is pregnant.

Our Cape Coral car accident lawyers understand that car accidents are responsible for most injuries requiring hospitalization during a woman’s pregnancy. On the other hand, very little is known about the relationship between auto accidents and specific fetal outcomes. Research continues to show that the best way to protect your growing baby is to protect yourself: Wear a properly positioned safety belt each and every time you’re in a vehicle. And you’ve got to make sure that it’s properly fastened.

When pregnant and riding in a motor vehicle, you want to make sure that the lap portion of the belt is secured below your belt and lying snug on your hipbones. You never want the belt to lie across or above your belly. In the event of an accident, the tug from the belt over the belly could cause the placenta to tear away from the uterus.

A study in San Diego found that close to 70 percent of women involved in a crash while not wearing a seat belt noted abdominal pain. Some mothers are also more likely to experience complications from blood clots, fractures, and internal injuries if involved in a crash while unrestrained. Researchers have also found that a mother’s uterus and bladder are not as protected by the pelvis after 12 weeks gestation and can be more easily injured by blunt trauma.

If you are driving, make sure you keep your belly a safe distance away from the air bag. Your breast bone should be at least 10 inches away from the dashboard or steering wheel. You may have to move your seat back as your belly grows.

There are nearly 170,000 car crashes involving pregnant women every year. So it’s important for moms in all stages of pregnancy to properly wear seat belts at all times when traveling in a motor vehicle.

You should also consider limiting you driving time to no more than five or six hours each day, and if you’re driving for that long, make plenty of stops so you can stretch and relax.

You should get treatment right away, even if you think you are not hurt. Most injuries to the baby happen within a few hours after a crash. Your doctor needs to check you and your baby as soon as possible after a crash.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured. Call for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. 1-800-283-2900.

More Blog Entries:

New Guidelines to Protect Sleeping Babies, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, October 16, 2013
Two Killed in Rear-End Trucking Accident on I-75/Daniels, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, October 8, 2013