Pregnant women often worry about activities like flying, scuba diving, hot tubs and other topics in maternal health, yet some may overlook road accidents despite their greater risks.
A recent study revealed that pregnant mothers are 42% more likely to crash their cars than women who aren’t pregnant. The risk is especially acute during the first and second month of pregnancy.
Researchers at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) in Canada tracked half a million women over 5 years and found in the second trimester of pregnancy, the risk of having a car crash requiring emergency medical treatment went up from 4.55 to 6.47 per 1,000. However, that was still a lower risk than men of the same age, with scientists revealing the male crash rate to be 8 per 1,000 drivers. Even the worst month during pregnancy which is the fifth, it peaked at only 7.66 per 1,000.
Lead scientist Donald Redelmeier said the second trimester was worse because pregnant women would be affected by nausea, fatigue insomnia or stress that could probably cause a lot distraction increasing the risk of an accident. However, these findings doesn’t mean that pregnant women shouldn’t be driving at all.
Possible life-threatening car crashes could be prevented by a small change in driver behaviour such as avoiding excessive speed, signalling turns, yielding to right of way, obeying stop signs, minimising distractions and always buckling up when behind the wheel. Or better yet, ask your husband or friend to drive you to your destination if you are not feeling well because a visit to the hospital is definitely the last thing any expectant mom needs during pregnancy, unless it’s ‘time’ of course...