Avoiding Legal Trouble

Staying Safe While Pregnant And Driving

Most women feel a natural urge to keep their selves particularly healthy during pregnancy. It's not uncommon for former smokers and drinkers to curtail those vices and to take to a healthy diet filled with plenty of protein and vitamins. Often, though, there is danger lurking when those pregnant women get behind the wheel of their cars. Read on to learn more about the specific dangers posed by accidents involving pregnancy.

Hidden Dangers

Even pretty minor fender benders might be cause for alarm, and it's always best to be on the safe side and get checked out by your obstetrician as soon as possible. Some forms of damage to you and your unborn baby may not be obvious at first, but getting in a car wreck could mean potentially deadly consequences. While the cushioning effect of the amniotic fluid is a wonderful way to protect your baby, it is not meant to take the impact of a car wreck. Some common problems associated with trauma to pregnant moms include:

1. Beginning labor too soon. Preterm labor (which is generally labor that begins before the 37th week) could cause premature birth or other complications.

2. Premature water breakage. Once the water breaks, the baby has no protection and birth will soon follow. Premature births carry their own sets of dangers and issues.

3. The separation of the placental wall.

4. Miscarriage and stillbirths.

Behind the Wheel

Taking precautions to avoid getting in an accident in the first place is of the utmost importance. This is no time to avoid seat-belts, they can save both you and your unborn child's life. The key is using those belts properly while pregnant. Here are some tips for proper placement:

1. Be sure you use both the shoulder and the lap portion of the belt; they are meant to be used together and using only the bottom could be dangerous.

2. Place the lap portion of the belt slighter underneath the lowest part of your abdomen, just under where your baby rests. Have the belt snug; a loose belt is less protective.

3. Bring the shoulder portion of the belt between your breasts; never allow it to slip under your arms.

4. Keep your steering wheel tilted slightly upwards, as much as you can and still drive safely. If your airbag does go off, it can redirect the impact upwards away from your baby.

5. Move your seat as far back from the steering wheel as you can and still drive safely.

If the worst happens and you are involved in a wreck, seek help from a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A pregnancy can ratchet up the harm considerably, and you may be eligible for special forms of compensation as a result of the accident. For more information, contact your local auto accident attorney services.