If you are pregnant and drive a vehicle, you may want to take heed of the recent research conducted by a Canadian Institute. The recent study of more than 500,000 women over six years investigated the risk of accidents both before and during pregnancy.
Their research concluded that regrettably, pregnancy led to an increase in the chances of the pregnant woman having a vehicle accident. According to the research, women are 42% more likely to be involved in an accident while pregnant, especially during the second trimester.
Predominantly the cause was fatigue and nausea. Surges in hormones and lack of sleep can mean that pregnant women are less alert at the wheel, or distracted from the road by aches, pains or sickness. Interestingly, by the third trimester, the risk begins to decrease. Experts put this down to more visible changes with the body, and an increased awareness that they need to treat their body with care. Dr. Redelmeier, a population epidemiologist at the University of Toronto noted, “In that second trimester, women are feeling really good. It contributes to that false sense of security. They’re rushing around to get things done before the baby comes.”
Unfortunately we have acted for a number of women who were pregnant at that time they were involved in a road traffic accident. The pain that the pregnant woman experienced was nothing compared to the psychological trauma they underwent until they had an emergency scan and were certain that their unborn child was unharmed by the accident. However, not all women are this lucky, as car crashes are the leading cause of foetal death linked to trauma in mothers. Car accidents while pregnant can cause intense physical, emotional and psychological damage – and can often be avoided.
Of course, not all of these accidents were the fault of the pregnant woman, and the study doesn’t mean that pregnant women shouldn’t drive. As Dr. Redelmeier notes, even at their worst, women are statistically better drivers than men of the same age. It is the responsibility of everyone on the road to ensure accidents like this don’t happen.
However if you are pregnant, it is important to be aware of the results of this study, and take extra measures to protect yourself and your unborn child when you ‘squeeze’ behind the wheel of your vehicle. If you begin to feel drowsy or nauseous while driving, pull over as soon as you can, and never force yourself to drive anywhere if you’re not feeling alert enough to do so. Continue to wear your seat belt, and drive extra cautiously to prevent collisions with other drivers.
If you have been unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident while pregnant, car accident compensation Manchester solicitors Wrigley Claydon can help. Call our personal injury team on 0161 624 6811 or use our ‘Make a Claim’ form.
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