When you become pregnant, your entire mindset begins to change. This is especially true when it comes to day-to-day safety. Unfortunately, one of the most dangerous things that we do as humans is operate a motor vehicle. Here, our local car accident lawyers want to discuss some of the most important basic safety steps that you can take when driving while pregnant.
Follow These Tips When Driving While Pregnant
It would be careless to think that pregnant individuals do not get into a vehicle accident, just like it would be careless for us to not provide safety tips for pregnant individuals. If you are expecting, some of the best ways for you and your baby to stay safe include the following:
- Remove distractions. Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous things that a person can do when they are behind the wheel. If you are pregnant, then you have enough going on in your mind about the future without having any distractions while you drive. Put down your phone and any other type of distraction and just focus on your driving.
- Remove extra layers. If you have any extra layers on, like a coat or jacket that could interfere with the placement of the seat belt while you are pregnant, go ahead and remove them before you start your journey. Rely on the climate control in your vehicle to keep you comfortable.
- Be a passenger when possible. If at all possible, let someone else drive you around while you are pregnant. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to have a chauffeur? Being a passenger takes one element out of the crash equation and lets you sit in a safer seat.
- Position yourself farther back from the steering wheel and airbag. If you do have to drive, move your seat as far back as you are comfortable with. Try to position yourself so that your breastbone is at least 10 to 12 inches away from the steering wheel. You could use aftermarket pedal extenders to give yourself more distance away from the steering wheel. Additionally, make sure your mirrors are adjusted to your new seating position.
- Tilt the steering wheel. If your vehicle is equipped with a tilt steering wheel, you can tilt it upwards to ultimately adjust the airbag trajectory if an accident does occur. If you can, tilt the steering wheel towards your breastbone rather than towards your abdomen area.
- Buckle up correctly. We strongly encourage you to buckle up correctly. It could be tempting to avoid using the shoulder belt, but you should not do this. All vehicle standards are designed based on the correct use of the seat belt. It is recommended that pregnant women wear the seat belt correctly with the lap portion of the belt under their abdomen or as low as they can get it, but not above or over the belly.
- Plan for frequent breaks. We encourage you to plan for frequent breaks when you have to get behind the wheel when you are pregnant, particularly if you have to go longer distances to your destination. If you’re going to be in the car for longer periods of time, plan areas where you can safely stop, stretch, and visit the restroom. You need to get the blood moving in your body so that you will feel more alert.