You don’t have to stop driving if you are expectant. Just be aware of the heightened risks so you can take relevant measures to deal with them. That way, you reduce your risk of accidents and injuries due to pregnancy-related issues. Below are some safety tips to help you drive safely during pregnancy.
Leave Ample Space Around the Steering Wheel
Leave ample space between you and the steering wheel for your comfort and safety. First, you won’t likely be comfortable driving, and the steering wheel can brush or almost brush your body. Secondly, even the slightest jerking movement, such as an abrupt spot, can cause the steering wheel to hit your body if you are too close to it.
Wear Your Seatbelt
Some people think using a seatbelt is too risky during pregnancy. However, the opposite is true since the seatbelt:
- Ensures an accident’s impact doesn’t throw you out of the car
- Ensures you are in the best position for maximum airbag protection in case of an accident
- Prevents you from getting thrown around inside the car in case of a crash
The seatbelt only presents an additional risk if you don’t use it correctly. Use these tips for seatbelt safety:
- Use a 3-point seatbelt.
- Ensure the lap belt sits as far back under (not across) your belly as possible.
- Position the shoulder belt down your chest’s center.
Whatever you do, don’t drive if the driver’s seatbelt is malfunctioning.
Ensure You Are Comfortable
Pregnancy changes your body to accommodate your child. The changes include weight gain, belly extension, and swollen feet due to extra fluid in the body. These changes can make you uncomfortable, and the discomfort can interfere with your driving concentration.
Do your best to be comfortable before driving off. For example, wear loose-fitting clothing and comfortable shoes. The safety belt should also fit snuggly but comfortably.
Stick to Short Distances
Driving long distances can be dangerous during pregnancy. Driving long distance:
- Increases your risk of exhaustion, which can interfere with your driving concentration
- Increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), where blood clots inside your veins
If you have to drive long distances, ensure you do the following:
- Make frequent stops. Get out and walk around.
- Plan your route to avoid overcrowded roads that can increase your driving time.
- Stretch your legs during your stops.
Get your doctor’s clearance before setting off on a particularly lengthy trip.
Know When to Avoid Driving
Whether or not you can safely drive during pregnancy depends on your circumstances. For example, you should only drive if:
- You don’t have serious complications
- You are not nauseated
- You are not extremely exhausted
- You can concentrate on the road
- You are not in labor
Analyze your situation and only drive if your pregnancy-related issues won’t increase your risk of a crash.
Ensure the Car Is Safe
Ensuring car safety is necessary for everyone. However, confirmation is even more necessary for expectant mothers who might face higher risks of accidents. Thus, you must ensure:
- That the car has a functional seatbelt
- That the car has a working airbag and someone has not disabled it
- That the adjustment systems, such as the seat-adjustment system, are operational
In short, take extra care to ensure your road safety.
Pack Drinks and Water
Lastly, take measures to ensure you don’t get hungry or thirsty during the drive. Pack a few snacks and water. Take them during your pit stops — drinking or eating while driving interferes with your concentration.
Hopefully, you won’t be involved in an accident during your pregnancy. Don’t admit liability if you suffer an accident, even if you feel you might be responsible for it. Seek medical care as soon as possible to safeguard your and your baby’s health. After that, contact The Jaklitsch Law Group to determine how to pursue auto accident damages.