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Driving When Pregnant – Five Safety Tips

My hometown motivates me to work hard for my client and get results.- John Cooper

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Driving When Pregnant – Five Safety Tips

If you are driving when pregnant you have an extra reason to be vigilant and take precautions. More than 2 percent of women report being hurt in an accident when they are pregnant.

Tragically, their unborn child may be hurt in these cases.  On average more than one unborn child dies a day in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident in the United States.

While most women who drive while they are pregnant are fine, this is certainly a nerve-wracking time. My legal assistant Stephanie made this video. She is due to have a baby girl and is understandably nervous about driving.

Here are some tips on safe driving while you are pregnant brought by the Baby Center.

Seat Belt Safety Tips for Driving while Pregnant

1 Buckle Up Your Seat Belt Correctly

Stephanie demonstrates the safe way to wear a seat belt when pregnant in this video.

You should wear your safety belt with the shoulder part above the collarbone. It should be between your neck and the top of your arm. The lap portion needs to be placed under the abdomen and across the upper thighs, as low as possible on your hips. Never have the lap portion above or over the belly. It could harm your unborn child if you are in a crash.  Keep the safety belt snug, and ensure the shoulder strap runs across your chest. Don’t place it behind your arm or your back.

2 Move Back from the Steering Wheel.

The steering wheel can be a potential hazard if you are pregnant and get involved in a crash. Move the seat as far back as comfortable and position yourself at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel. Tilt the steering wheel toward your breastbone rather than toward your abdomen.

3 Don’t Disable the Airbag

A lot of pregnant women think the airbag might pose a hazard. In fact, you will receive more protection in a crash with an airbag than without one. However, it’s a good idea to move as far as it is possible to drive comfortably away from the steering wheel.

4 Don’t Lean Forward

Mothers to be should sit back against the seat and have as little slack in their seat belts as possible. This minimizes any forward movement in the case of a crash and allows the air bag to operate correctly.

5 Be a Passenger

Avoid driving unless you really have to because it can add stresses during what is already a stressful time.

If you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident, even a minor one, while pregnant, you should contact your medical provider. Your doctor will often recommend that you come in and have the baby’s heart beat checked to make sure there are no complications.

We hope you have a wreck-free and safe pregnancy. If you need our services, call (757) 455-0077.


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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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