- It’s safe to wear seat belts while pregnant as long as you do it properly.
- To wear a seat belt safely, make sure it’s low and snug on your hips. The seat belt should touch your thighs and hip bones.
- Think twice about getting maternity seat belt adjusters because they’re not as reliable as regular seat belts.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been saved from fatal and devastating accidents because they buckled their seat belts properly. Seat belts keep drivers and passengers safe by securing them in place with tight straps, but how would that safely work if you’re pregnant?
People in the second or third trimester of pregnancy will struggle to wear seat belts due to their swollen bellies, and many worry that putting on a seat belt might harm their baby. Fortunately, knowing how to wear a seat belt properly will prevent that.
In short, yes, it’s okay to wear a seat belt while pregnant. Not only is it safe, but it’s also strongly recommended, if not mandatory.
How to Wear A Seat Belt While Pregnant the Proper Way
Pregnant or not, wearing a seat belt increases your likelihood of surviving a car crash exponentially — assuming you wear it properly, of course.
The safest type of seat belt to wear for pregnant people is a lap and shoulder belt combination. Wearing this type of seat belt alone isn’t enough to guarantee your safety, however. Knowing how to wear your seat belt properly is what matters.
Here are some handy tips to help you make sure you’re wearing your seat belt properly.
- Don’t wear your seat belt across your belly. Instead, make sure it’s low and snug on your hips.
- Ensure your seat belt is touching your thighs and your hip bones.
- Ensure your shoulder belt fits across your chest and shoulder to make sure you don’t fly out of your vehicle during a collision.
- Keep your belly away from the airbag so it hits your chest instead. Move your chair so that your chest is at least 10 inches away from the dashboard or steering wheel.
Are Maternity Seat Belt Adjusters Reliable?
When it comes to keeping passengers safe, maternity seat belt adjusters aren’t as reliable as standard seat belts. They might even do more harm than good, as seat belt adjusters can change the way seat belts function. Because they reposition seat belts, they might not work as effectively as they normally would.
It’s also worth mentioning that, unlike regular seat belts, aftermarket accessories such as maternity seat belt adjusters aren’t subject to any government regulations. Quality assurance is never guaranteed, and the fact that there’s no crash test data means you’ll be gambling every time you use them.
Instead, if you want to prioritize your safety, you’re better off wearing a seat belt correctly as opposed to investing in aftermarket accessories.
Statistically speaking, pregnant women are 4.5 times more likely to survive a crash if they wear their lap and shoulder seat belts properly. When it comes to protecting your baby, protecting yourself is always the best policy.
Driving While Pregnant: Extra Tips to Stay Safe
Knowing how to wear a seat belt properly isn’t always enough to guarantee your safety on the road. There will always be other factors like knowing what to do when you feel nauseous or following advice from your doctor. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help you stay extra safe when driving while you’re pregnant.
Don’t Drive When You’re Unwell
If you feel nauseous, dizzy, or exhausted, don’t get behind the wheel. If you feel these symptoms while driving, pull over and get some rest to avoid worsening the symptoms. Your health and your safety should always take top priority.
Don’t Make Sudden Movements
Doing sharp turns, rushing through speed bumps, and driving at high speeds can put pressure on the amniotic fluid that protects your baby. The bumpiness and sharp movements have the potential to harm your child by inflicting minor injuries on the fetal brain.
Sudden movements can lead to complications like abnormal fetal heart rates, abdominal pain, and uterine contraction. When driving, try to limit the speed of your vehicle to 28mph or slower, if possible.
Always Pack Food and Drinks
If you’re pregnant, staying healthy and hydrated is critical. Make sure to pack snacks and beverages with you wherever you go. Keep some in your vehicle whether you’re going on a long trip or a quick stop at the grocery store.
Because you’re eating for two, you’ll get hungry more frequently. In case you feel sick or nauseous, having snacks like biscuits and drinks like fruit juice can help you feel better.
Never Deactivate Your Airbags
According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, airbags have saved approximately 50,000 people from what could’ve been fatal car accidents. Because of this, airbags are widely seen as one of the most important safety systems you can ever have in a vehicle.
Pregnant women in particular should never disable their vehicle’s airbags if they want to guarantee their and their child’s safety. Even if it might seem like they might be dangerous to your child because of how they inflate, you’re at greater risk of dying or losing your child by driving without them.
Always Listen To Your Doctor
If your doctor advises you not to drive if you’re pregnant, it’s best to listen — even if it’d be inconvenient.
Similarly, if you ever get into an accident — even if you don’t feel any symptoms or don’t receive any overt injuries — go visit your doctor immediately. You might not be able to tell if something’s wrong, but a professional can.
An additional tip would be to list your OB-GYN as an emergency contact in your vehicle in case something happens to you on the road. Whether you get into an accident or your water breaks, it’s important to have them available on speed dial so you can readily contact them.
Avoid Driving In Late Stages of Pregnancy
In the late stages of pregnancy, your belly will swell to the point that it might become difficult to drive. You’ll struggle to turn comfortably, you might have a harder time reaching the pedals, and your bump might press against the steering wheel.
Unfortunately, pregnancy comes with many inconveniences, and it’s smarter to refrain from driving as opposed to forcing yourself. Instead, you can ask a friend or a loved one to drive you to wherever it is you need to go.
There’s no harm in catching rides with other people, and it’ll be a lot easier for you and the baby if you leave that responsibility to someone else. You can even use taxi services and public transport (so long as you can sit down) to save yourself from driving.
Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.