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Seat belts still safe for expecting mothers

Pregnancy is supposed to be a cherished moment in Albany mothers' lives, but with the constant fear that something or other will harm the baby, many mothers have little opportunity to enjoy their pregnancies. One of the things that pregnant women may have avoided for quite a while is seat belts. While the belt could go across a woman's baby bump, a new study shows that pregnant women in car accidents are less likely to lose their babies if they wear their seat belts than if they do not.

Although seat belts and air bags are likely to help keep women and their unborn children safe, there are still serious injuries and sometimes death when pregnant women are involved in car accidents. Even with the best safety features, a careless or reckless driver on Albany roads can put one or two lives at risk. Ultimately, it is up to other drivers on the road to operate their vehicles safely and avoid accidents with pregnant drivers.

Researchers measured seat belt safety for pregnant women by looking at the number of women in their second and third trimesters admitted with trauma following a car accident. They pulled 126 cases over a period 16 years and looked at the number of fetal deaths. Only 3.5 percent of the fetuses died when the mothers were wearing seat belts, but 25 percent died when the mothers were not.

The researchers also found that when airbags were deployed there was greater damage to both the mother and the fetus, as the placenta could detach from the uterus. The researchers were quick to note, however, that it was most likely that the airbag deployment was indicative of a more severe crash, not that the airbag was the cause of danger.

While there are still some concerns about expecting mothers' safety in cars, it is other drivers' responsibility to drive safely to avoid an accident in the first place.

Source: Reuters, "Buckle up during pregnancy: study," Kerry Grens, March 8, 2013

Learn more about the men and women we have helped who were injured in serious car accidents by visiting our website.

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