A new report outlines the results of a study that analyzed the threat posed to pregnant women by automobile crashes. The research, which was carried out by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, analyzed 848,000 North Carolina women who had delivered a baby from 2001 to 2008, 2.9% of which had been in at least one automobile accident during that time.
The study revealed that adversity rates increased among those women who had been in a crash, and the rates went up even higher if the women were in multiple collisions during the pregnancy. What’s more, the research also revealed the impact that not wearing a seatbelt can have on pregnant women and their unborn children. Among those who did not wear a seatbelt, there were three times as many stillbirths. The research also revealed that preterm births were more likely if a vehicle did not have airbags.
On the heels of this study, Consumer Reports is relating some safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to pregnant women. First, it’s important that a seatbelt be worn at all times. Although some may worry this could be dangerous to a child, it’s actually far more hazardous to not be wearing a seatbelt if an accident occurs.
Airbags should always be turned on, but the seat should be adjusted backward to give ample room to a pregnant vehicle occupant. Finally, so that safety can be assured after the birth, parents should learn car seat usage techniques a few weeks prior to the child’s birth.