The Unique Car Accident Risks Facing Expectant Mothers
Most parents recognize the importance of driving safely and placing their child in a car seat to avoid serious injury to their kids if a serious Georgia car accident occurs. Although car seats can be an invaluable safety feature for protecting children in car accidents, they do little to protect the unborn children of pregnant vehicle occupants. Each Atlanta car accident attorney from our law firm has understands there is no careful tracking of the deaths of unborn children in car accidents, but it is estimated that as many as a thousand fetuses die in fatal car accidents annually.
While car seats and other safety features have improved vehicle safety for infants and children under the age of 4, there has been much less progress in vehicle safety improvements for unborn children. The fatality rate for unborn children is four times higher than for children under the age of four according to a study conducted by Virginia Tech University.
Pregnant vehicle occupants face special health risks because of particular vulnerability to injury associated with pregnancy. The placenta uterine attachment, for example, is an extremely delicate but vital attachment. When this attachment is severed by the impact of a car accident in Georgia, the fetus is deprived of its oxygen supply. This type of injury accounts for eight in ten fatalities to fetuses during car accidents involving expectant moms.
Pregnant drivers are particularly at risk because the injury most typically results from contact with the steering wheel during a collision. Because of this danger posed by the potential impact of the steering wheel with the abdomen of a pregnant driver, pregnant drivers are at a greater risk than pregnant passengers. Many people would be surprised to know that car accidents are the leading cause of death for pregnant women with the number of deaths far exceeding those suffered in pregnancy and child birth complications.
Many expectant moms worry about wearing seatbelts and fear that a seatbelt could increase the risk of injury to a fetus or expectant mother during a Georgia car accident. However, safety experts suggest that wearing a lap belt and shoulder belt is the safest option for all adults including pregnant moms. Unfortunately, some pregnant vehicle occupants adjust the lap belt so that they ride higher on the stomach for comfort reasons while others remove the shoulder harness. According to experts these adjustments are made for comfort or the mistaken belief that it is safer to modify the standard seatbelt configuration when a vehicle occupant is pregnant.
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