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Auto Accidents

Baby on Board: Important Safety News for Pregnant Women

July 21, 2014 | Michael Barasch

Recent research suggests that driving while pregnant could increase your chances of an accident.

Pregnancy is an exhilarating time in the lives of expectant parents. Care is taken with diet, alcohol, exercise and other concerns. A new study points out women are at substantially greater risk of a car accident during the second trimester of pregnancy. Why?

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looked at medical records of more than 500,000 women in Ontario between April 2006 and March 2011. Findings of the study include the following:

  • The occurrence of serious motor vehicle accidents involving pregnant women showed a distinct pattern. During the second trimester, the risk of a car accident rose 42 percent between the first and second trimester of pregnancy. Risk declined in the third trimester.
  • Controlling for factors including age and economic background, elevated risk of collision is associated with the second trimester for all pregnant women.
  • The study found the risk associated with second-trimester pregnancy is similar to the danger of chronic sleep apnea. While the study did not assign cause, fluctuations in hormones during pregnancy could underpin the danger.

Motor vehicle accidents are dangerous for anyone. For pregnant women, emergency medical treatment is complicated and potentially dangerous to an unborn child.

Dr. Donald Redelmeier, the emergency department doctor who headed the study stated, “We aren’t recommending pregnant woman delegate their driving to their husbands.” Instead, researchers suggest pregnant women focus on safe driving habits that include wearing a seatbelt, following the rules of the road and avoiding distracted driving.

If you or a loved one is pregnant, take extra care when driving. If injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of others in New York, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

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