Protecting Precious Cargo

Finding yourself hurt and your car wrecked by a careless driver is never a great experience, but if you are pregnant, it could be so much more damaging and stressful. Read on to learn a bit more about the danger of being involved in a car wreck and how it could affect you and your precious cargo.

No so minor: You should understand that there is no such thing as a minor accident if it occurs when you are carrying an unborn baby. No matter how small of a fender bender you experience, get to your obstetrician immediately and get thoroughly checked out. Even minor jolts can disturb your baby's health, even if you feel perfectly fine. Car accidents can cause major problems with your pregnancy, such as:

  • Premature labor. Anytime a baby is born before they are ready, there are risks. Once labor begins, your baby is immediately at risk, and the risk increases depending on how much your pregnancy has progressed.
  • Rupture of the amniotic sac. Once your water breaks, your baby has nothing to protect it, so you can expect your baby to be born very soon, whether the baby is ready or not. Often, labor will begin once the sac bursts.
  • Placenta wall separation.
  • Miscarriage. If your baby is born prior to 20 week gestation, it is considered a miscarriage and your baby is at great risk.
  • Still birth.

Driving safely with a baby on board.

1. You may feel uncomfortable with the seatbelt on, but never ride or drive without it properly fastened. Here are some tips for combining seatbelts and pregnancy:

Use both the top part (the shoulder section) and bottom part (the lap belt); never just one or the other. They are meant to work in tandem with each other.

To get a snug but safe fit, lift your belly a bit and draw the lap portion under the largest part of your stomach. Tug the belt to pull it taut.

Your breasts are likely enlarged and more tender, but don't be tempted to let the shoulder section of the belt rest under your arms. Make sure it goes between your breasts.

2. Airbags are wonderful safety features, but you want to make some adjustments to ensure your baby's safety. Keep your seat in a position that is as far back away from the steering wheel as you can get it and still safely operate the vehicle. If possible, try tilting the steering wheel up at a slight angle so that it is aimed more at your upper body and not your abdomen.

3. Take more breaks when driving than you may normally do. Never drive more than 2 or 3 hours without getting out of the car and stretching. Failure to stretch could result in painful and debilitating leg cramps.

When the worst happens: After seeking medical treatment, see to it that you are compensated for your damages. Your pregnancy places you in a vulnerable state if you are in an accident that was not your fault, and you may be eligible for an enhanced level of damages for your pain and suffering and more. Speak to a personal injury attorney like one from Palmetto Injury Lawyers for more information about getting what you deserve.