Pregnant women must take certain precautions to keep themselves and their babies safe. In addition to proper nutrition, avoiding alcohol, scuba diving, hot tubs, and not boarding an airplane in the final trimester, women should also be careful when getting behind the wheel. According to a recent Canadian study, pregnant women are more likely to be in a serious car crash. The report, which was recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and highlighted on NPR, indicates that the risk for pregnant women is highest during the second trimester. Research shows that expectant mothers are as likely to be involved in an accident as someone with sleep apnea.
For pregnant women, being aware of accident risks could help to prevent collisions and subsequent injuries to themselves, their babies, and other motorists on the road. Our Boston car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping victims maximize their compensation in the event of an injury or the loss of a loved one. In addition to providing experienced and strategic representation, our firm is also abreast of scientific research and studies that may impact drivers and other motorists sharing the road.
The data looked at more than 500,000 mothers in Ontario and followed driving records and data for five years, including 4 years before the baby was born and a year after birth. During the second trimester the accident rates spiked and some researchers believe it may have to do with hormonal changes during pregnancy. Researchers and safety advocates are not recommending that pregnant women do not drive, only that they be more careful when behind the wheel. Expectant mothers should take extra precautions including the following:
Get enough rest and don’t drive if you are fatigued: Pregnant need more rests and can become tired more quickly. Pay attention to your body, get enough rest and don’t get behind the wheel if you are fatigued.
Don’t drive with distractions: Avoid distractions, including cell phones, loud music, or pets. If you have other small children, be wary of potential distractions while you are driving.
Don’t speed or violate traffic laws: Pregnant women should be especially cautious not to violate speeding or other traffic laws. Running a red light or failing to yield could lead to a serious accident or collision.
The risk of accidents for women is highest during the second trimester, but drops off in the third trimester. Research also shows that new mothers have a lower accident rate than pre-pregnancy drivers. While many women worry about other activities such as working out, going to yoga, or taking a vacation, they should also worry about driving, which could be a larger threat to their health.
While many of these tips apply to all drivers, pregnant women should be aware that in the study, most of the accidents could have been avoided if the drivers had made small changes in their behavior. Interestingly, lead researchers from the study do not advocate that pregnant women simply hand over their keys to their husband. According to data, young adult men are even more dangerous behind the wheel and have a higher risk of accidents than even pregnant women.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Window Tinting, Accident Risks, and Massachusetts Law, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 2, 2014
New Mothers at Risk of Distracted Driving Accidents, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 2, 2014