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Pregnant? Use Caution When Driving

Recent research suggests physical changes during pregnancy could increase the risk of a serious vehicle accident.

Women and their families are extra careful when there is a baby on board. Along with preparations for the baby, women are cautious about diet and exercise. A new study shows pregnant women should also be more careful driving during the second trimester of their pregnancies.

In research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, study authors reviewed medical treatment data on 500,000 women in Ontario, Canada who gave birth between 2006 and 2011. Findings of the study include:

  • During the first trimester of pregnancy, accident rates of expectant mothers are similar to the general population.
  • The rate of accident and injury of pregnant women from motor vehicle accidents rose approximately 42 percent during the second trimester.
  • The accident rate declined to average figures during the last trimester of pregnancy.

The research does not comment on the reason for the rise in danger of car accidents during the second-trimester.

Lead author Dr. Donald Redelmeier notes, “We've known for a long time that pregnancy causes fatigue, insomnia, nausea and stress." What we wondered was how all those factors might contribute to driver error and the possibility of a life-threatening motor vehicles crash ... I was surprised by the magnitude of the effect. ... It's a substantial risk."

While it is important for any motorist to avoid automobile accidents, medical treatment for injured women who are pregnant is literally doubly difficult. Certain diagnostic tests and treatments are not possible due to potential danger to a baby.

If you, or a loved one, are pregnant, take extra time when driving. Observe rules of the road and avoid any distractions. If seriously injured in Durham County, talk to an experienced North Carolina injury attorney.

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