Pregnant drivers are reportedly more likely to crash says a new study. A Canadian research team, whose findings were recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, has discovered that second trimester pregnancy is directly related to a high risk of serious car accidents requiring emergency medical treatment.
Over half a million pregnant females were included in a study that focused on common elements of pregnancy including distraction, fatigue, insomnia and nausea could increase the human error that increases the risk of automotive accident. The data divulges that during the three years prior to pregnancy the participants had a total of 177 accidents each month or 6,922 crashes. During the second trimester, pregnant drivers racked up 252 crashes every month or 757 accidents.
At the approximate halfway point of pregnancy, the increased risk rate rose to a 42 percent increase in “serious traffic accidents.” Statistically-speaking, approximately one in 50 pregnant drivers will be in an automotive accident some time during pregnancy.
Dr Donald Redelmeier, a researcher with the ICES (Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences), a physician at Toronto University’s Department of Medicine in Canada and lead author of the study stated: “Pregnant women often worry about air flights, scuba diving, hot tubs and other topics in maternal health, yet individuals may overlook traffic crashes despite their greater health risks.”
Dr Jon Barrett, co-author and physician at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, elaborated: “The increase was almost fully explained by multiple-vehicle crashes in which the woman had been driving a car – not a truck or other miscellaneous vehicle – and had a high triage urgency.”
“Almost all traffic crashes could be prevented by a small change in driver behavior. The absolute risks among pregnant women, however, are still lower than among men of this age,” Redelmeier added.
He noted: “These findings are not a reason to decide not to have children or a reason to stop driving. Instead, the findings primarily emphasize the need to drive more carefully.”
They suggested that pregnant drivers avoid excessive speeding, minimize distractions, obey stop signs, utilize turn signals, wear seatbelts and yield the right of way. Redelmeier reminded pregnant drivers that “(e)ven a minor motor vehicle crash during pregnancy could lead to irreparable consequences for mother and child,” concluding that their “findings underscore the importance of prevention and indicate that good prenatal care includes safe driving.”
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Pregnant Drivers 50% More Likely To Crash