Families go to great lengths to ensure an unborn baby receives proper nutrition and medical care. But did you know that car crashes are the single leading cause of traumatic fetal death and mortality in pregnant women?
As an experienced Ocala and Gainesville car accident attorney, I support the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in reminding pregnant women to buckle up safely.
The crash statistics are tragic and, for the most part, preventable. Annually, 160 pregnant women are killed in car wrecks-plus 800 to 3,200 fetuses die when the mother survives.
The NHTSA recommends these simple steps to protect yourself and your fetus:
- Wear your seat belt. Buckling up is the single most effective way for you and your fetus to survive a wreck. The seat belt should be a three-point restraint, meaning that it has a lap strap and a shoulder strap.
- Secure the lap strap BELOW your belly, snuggly across your hips and pelvis. If the lap belt is placed over your belly, it could crush your uterus, causing the placenta to separate from the uterine wall in an accident.
- Place the shoulder belt across your chest and away from your neck. Don’t tuck the shoulder belt behind you or under your arm. When driving, the shoulder strap may keep the wheel from crushing your belly, in the even of an accident.
- Keep Airbags Activated. Experts recommend using both seat belts and airbags to best protect you and your unborn baby. Airbags are no substitute for a seat belt.
- Fit Matters. If you need roomier seat belts, contact the vehicle manufacturer or dealer for belt adjusters. If fit is an issue, remember to wear the lap belt BELOW your belly.
- Position the seat as far rearward as possible. To protect your belly from impact, position a passenger seat as far from the dash as possible. As a driver, position the seat as far rearward as safely possible while driving to increase the distance between your belly and the steering wheel.
Remember, if you’re not buckled up, you could be ejected from the vehicle, which is almost always lethal for a woman and unborn baby. In 2008, seat belts saved approximately 13,000 lives and remain the best defense against distracted, impaired, and aggressive drivers.
For more information:
Car Seat Safety is for Everyone
Why is driving or riding in a car while I’m pregnant so dangerous?
I am local accident attorney Jeffrey Meldon and I strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of and/or recovery from a serious accident. My office and I take pride in our work, and the results we get for our clients.
Meldon Law is a regional law firm that is located in Gainesville, Florida. We are personal injury lawyers, litigators and trial lawyers that have been working to get accident victims the justice they deserve for over 40 years throughout North Florida and all over Florida. Accidents involving a car crash, truck wreck, motorcycle, ATVs, bicycle, pedestrian accidents, and dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and criminal defense are all included in our practice.
For more information on how we can help you, or with any other question you may have, feel free to contact our office at 352-373-8000.