Car Safety And Pregnancy
Car Safety And Pregnancy
Stephanie Tombrello (Child Passenger Safety Educator & Executive Director, SafetyBeltSafe USA) gives expert video advice on: What's the proper way to wear a car safety belt if I'm pregnant?; Can air bags injure me during a car accident if I'm pregnant?; Where should I sit in a vehicle if I'm a pregnant passenger? and more...
Can air bags injure me during a car accident if I'm pregnant?
In a car crash, the air bag is meant to diffuse some of the forces that would go on to your body, so it's a good thing. We're not worried about air bags and pregnant women. However, anyone who is too close to the air bag compartment prior to the car crash runs the risk of some kind of potential injury. You want to sit at least 10 inches back from your air bag compartment.
How are air bags designed to protect me in a car collision?
The way air bags are designed is for adults is with the shoulder-lap belt holding the person in place and then the air bag coming to spread forces to the person's head, chest, and so forth. This is as well as keeping the air bag and the passenger somewhat apart until the air bag is fully deployed, and some of the ride-down has occurred from the belt system. So, although air bag systems now have sensors to sense whether there's somebody who is 'too light' (in other words, a child is in that position, so the air bag is turned off automatically) we still don't want to see children rear-facing in front of a passenger air bag unless it is directly switched off. Part of the reason it's really good to have the sensors for passenger air bags is there are many occasions in which no one is sitting in the front seat, and there's no reason to have that passenger air bag deploy for your groceries, or your woman's purse, or a set of books that might be sitting there.
Where should I sit in a vehicle if I'm a pregnant passenger?
The back seat is always the better seat in a car if you're a pregnant passenger. You want to sit where you have a shoulder-lap belt. Ideally, if your car has a shoulder-lap belt in the center of the rear seat, that's the best place for you to sit when pregnant.
What do I do after a collision if I'm pregnant?
After any collision, we feel that pregnant women should seek some medical attention and probably 24-hour fetal monitoring because it's difficult to know whether there's been an abruption of the placenta after a crash. Therefore as a pregnant woman, after a collision you want to be monitored so steps can be taken to help you and the fetus if there is a problem.