Believe it or not, car accidents are responsible for most of the injuries that require some sort of hospitalization during pregnancy. And although the rate of seat belt use is on the rise, officials still estimate that 1 out of every 7 American adults isn’t buckling up during each and every car ride.
According to MNT, car accidents can be extremely dangerous for women who are pregnant, especially if they are not wearing a seat belt.
Our Highland car accident lawyers understand that many women have concerns about how to wear a seat belt properly while pregnant — and with good reason! When lap belts are improperly worn (over the dome of the uterus), they can significantly increase pressure on the baby and may possibly lead to fetal injury. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t wear one. You should instead know how to wear one correctly.
An estimated 800 fetuses die each year in the United States when their mothers are involved in vehicle accidents, according to federal statistics.
Many women are afraid of wearing a seat belt because they think that it will put too much pressure on the baby if they should get into an accident. Many pregnant women especially fear wearing a seat belt, for the same reason, when they are further along in pregnancy. Is there any truth to this reasoning, or is it all a complete myth?
The truth of the matter is that wearing a seat belt won’t bring harm to the baby, which is encircled with amniotic fluid from all sides; it protects her from forceful blows, which are most dangerous to the fetus.
When wearing a seat belt, pregnant women should secure the lap belt below the belly so that if fits snugly across the hips and pelvic bone. Place the shoulder belt across the chest (between the breasts) and away from your neck. You should never put the shoulder belt under your arm or behind the back.
According to ABC NEWS, pregnant women should sit at least 10 inches back from the air bag or dashboard of the vehicle. And they should not disable the air bag, as it can provide further protection for the mother and her baby in a serious crash.
“About 200 fetuses each year would not lose their lives if women had worn their seat belts,” said Dr. Mark D. Pearlman, M.D. vice-chair in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
You should also keep in mind that there is a penalty for not wearing a seat belt and you can be fined if you’re busted without one. If by chance, you’re ever in a car accident while pregnant, even if it’s minor and you feel fine, see your doctor as soon as possible. She’ll be able to check that you and your baby are unharmed.
Attorney Burton A. Padove represents those who have been injured in Highland and elsewhere. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an accident, call (219) 836 2200.
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