Protecting her unborn child is priority number one at all times for a pregnant woman. So thorough do most pregnant women become when checking for safety hazards that they start to double-check if equipment designed specifically to promote safety is trustworthy. Is it safe to leave an infant alone in a crib? Are outlet protectors actually impossible for a baby to remove? Perhaps no piece of safety equipment is questioned more often by pregnant mothers than the seatbelt.
Recently, a rumor has been circulating that states a pregnant mother actually endangers her unborn child by buckling up due to the belt restricting her. This is not true. There is no safety study on record that will tell you that it is safer to not wear a seatbelt when pregnant than to wear one. Everyone seated inside of an automobile should wear a seatbelt at all times.
The only sliver of truth to the rumor is that a pregnant woman may need to readjust her seatbelt to completely protect both herself and her unborn child. Strapping in without making minor adjustments could actually pose a danger to a child in an accident. However, the dangers of an incorrectly-worn seatbelt will not outweigh the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt at all.
Pregnant women should follow these tips whenever buckling up with a seatbelt:
- Seatbelts with lap and shoulder straps offer the best protection.
- Lap straps should be positioned below a pregnant woman’s belly and touch her hips, not atop, across, or above the belly.
- Removing any outer layers of clothing, like a winter coat, can help ensure that a seatbelt is comfortably snug and effectively restrictive in case of a collision.
- Seatbelt shoulder straps should be positioned between a pregnant woman’s breasts and slide off to the side of her belly as soon as possible. Do not stretch or place the shoulder strap across a pregnant woman’s stomach.
- Looping a seatbelt shoulder strap under one arm provides no protection and should not be done at any time.
- When a pregnant woman is seated in the driver’s seat of a vehicle, the steering wheel should be pointed upwards, away from the belly, as much as comfortably possible.
- Pregnant women should sit in the backseat of an automobile when given the option, as this is statistically the safest place in a car during a car accident.
What Pregnant Women Should Do After a Car Accident
Pregnant women should always visit a trusted physician after being in a traffic accident, even if it was a minor collision. Unborn children are susceptible to injuries that can go completely unnoticed until birth. It is wise to err on the side of caution and see a doctor as soon as possible whenever in an accident.
If you or your child are hurt in a car accident, you should explore your legal options to pursue compensation from the liable party or negligent driver. Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC and our Atlanta car accident attorneys would be happy to discuss the details during a free consultation. We are backed by 75+ years of total legal experience, $200+ million in recoveries for clients through verdicts and settlements, and positive client testimonials. Call 888.425.6070 to begin.