Many pregnant women worry that using a seatbelt when driving could be unsafe for their baby, but a recent study debunks that myth. The University of Michigan found that about 200 unborn babies would be saved each year if expectant women properly buckled up every time they get in a car.
The researchers analyzed data from 57 car crashes involving pregnant women. The findings conclude that proper seatbelt use would reduce the risk of serious fetal injuries or deaths due to car accidents by 84 percent. Women who were involved in these crashes were unbelted 62 percent of the time.
The study estimates that about 170,000 car crashes in the United States each year involve pregnant women and as many as 370 unborn babies die from them. The estimates indicate that there are more deaths to unborn children from car crashes than motor-vehicle crash deaths to infants under age one.
So, how can pregnant women protect themselves? If you are an expectant mother or know someone who is, here are some driving safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Once the baby is born, make sure car seats are properly installed.
See our Ratings and recommendations on car seats.