Driving Tips for Moms-to-Be By Lauren Fix, The Car Coach
With all of the excitement surrounding moms-to-be, transportation is the least of the worries, however driving while pregnant can be a very uncomfortable situation. Im a mother of two and have been in this position before. Here are tips to new and expectant mothers for safe and comfortable car rides.
Many pregnant women may find driving to be less than comfortable, worrying if their belly is too close to the steering wheel, not quite sure how to deal with the seat belt, and the thought of airbags protecting their unborn child.
Although sometimes unpleasant, you should always wear a seat belt. The proper way to wear a seat belt while pregnant is no different from any other time. Make sure that the lap belt is low and tight across your hips, not across your stomach. The shoulder belt should go across the middle of your chest and away from your neck. Many vehicles allow for adjustment of the belt at the cars B pillar (the middle post over your shoulder).
Airbags are proven to save livesif they are used with seatbelts and if the passenger is seated properly and the right distance from the airbags. Expectant mothers should be sure to sit up straight and keep at least 12 inches of clearance between the front airbags and their belly. Pillows or other cushions should not be used to change seating position, simply use the adjusters that are built into the vehicle.
Some vehicles are just easier to get in and out of than others. When I was pregnant I had difficulty getting in and out of my husbands pick-up truck. This may be an issue for many pregnant women. If there are no alternative choices, I suggest keeping a step stool handy, but use extreme caution.
Below are answers to other common questions for choosing the best cars for new moms.
- Pregnant women and new mom's are already dealing with all the gear they have to carry - what vehicle can hold it all and which are the easiest autos to load and unload?
Look for low vehicles that are safe such as Crossover or Sport utility vehicles, also, consider minivans and station wagons. The secret is to haul all the gear without putting more stress on your back.
- What auto will put the least pressure on your back? Lower vehicles, but not too low like CUV's, are best as you can get car seats in and out and are not too high so you don't strain your back. This is personal based on height and body structure.
- Which vehicles are the easiest to install a car seat? Minivans are easiest so you can sit in the vehicle if needed and buckle in the belt. Please always follow the owners manual and the car seat directions for the correct way to install the seat.
- As the kids grow - will this vehicle grow with it? Kids love to look out the window at any age. Look for adjustable seats and never use a pillow or blanket to raise a car seat.
- What can you add to a car to protect children from the sun? Static window tint and shades are available to protect your child from the sun or bright light that may upset a child or baby.
- What are the safest vehicles to protect your children? Always look for a five- star crash test rating for the front driver and passenger as well as both sides for side impact protection. Children travel safest when they wear their seatbelts, you should set a good example, but the safest vehicles have air bags in the front and side. Car seats are the safest way for small children to travel as long as theyre properly attached to the car.