Top 10 Tips For Safer Driving While Pregnant

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She works as an associate editor and writer for 4autoinsurancequote.com for over a year and enjoys creating content that offers expert advice on car insurance topics.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs...

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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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If you are driving while pregnant, make sure you read the following 10 tips to keep you and your little one safe at all times.  There are many dangers of driving while pregnant, and it is not always necessarily safe to drive while you are pregnant, but the following tips should be enough to keep you as safe as possible!

When you’re pregnant, you don’t necessarily have to be driving to be carrying precious cargo. But when you are driving, you need to be just that much more careful. To protect your own safety, as well as the safety of your unborn baby, some extra precautions need to be taken. Many of the following tips are things you should be doing anyway, but while pregnant, it’s particularly important that you follow these 10 important safety-measures in order to stay safe on the road.

safe driving while pregnant

1. Wear a seat belt.

This is, perhaps, the most obvious safety tip. Not only is it likely required by law (wearing your seat belt is required in every state but New Hampshire), but it’s often times the only things that will save you and your baby in the case of a collision.

How you wear your seat belt is equally important. Make sure the waist strap is resting below your stomach (baby bump), rather than across it, with the shoulder strap comfortably across your chest.

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2. Be aware of your position in the car.

Air bags are often times blamed for causing bodily harm to the driver. While there’s always a chance, you’re far less likely to be injured if you’ve taken the proper air bag precautions.

AAA recommends you position yourself at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel, so that you’re at a safe distance if the air bag were to deploy. If you’re carrying a child, you may want to go even further back from the steering column. (This is all assuming that you can still drive safely and comfortably when doing so.)

You’re also probably well aware of the need to keep healthy circulation, particularly in your legs. Driving is no exception, and its important to pull over when you have the opportunity, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes, so you can stretch your legs.

3. Don’t drive at night.

Driving at night is far more dangerous than daytime driving, and while pregnant, you can’t afford to take any chances.

Night driving is exponentially more dangerous, and that is not only just for pregnant women. Night driving reduces visibility, increases the chance of encountering a drunk driver, and can simply give you the creeps.

4. Fill up before hitting the road.

No, I’m not talking about filling up your gas tank. If you’re pregnant, it’s imperative that keep your blood sugar at a healthy level, and that you avoid eating unhealthy food. By eating before you leave the house, or packing some healthy snacks for the road, you can keep your blood sugar in check.  A full stomach will also help you resist the urge for greasy fast food drive-thrus along your journey.

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5. Ensure your safety.

There’s very few other times in life when you can guarantee your safety, and on the road is actually no different. You can, however, secure your financial safety with the appropriate auto insurance coverage.

When you’re pregnant, your regular car insurance simply won’t cut it. Collision and bodily injury coverage in particular should be at the top of your priorities list. To ensure your safety and the safety of your unborn little one, enter your zip code in the form above and find an auto insurance policy that can put your mind at ease.

6. Pack a safety kit.

It’s never a bad idea to have a safety kit in your vehicle. This is particularly important if you live in a cold and wintry climate, or if you frequently drive on remote rural roads. Fill your safety kit with a first aid kid and other basic medical supplies. Add some non-perishable food and bottled water. Consider adding an extra cell phone with a charger, some blankets, extra clothing, a flashlight, hazard cones, and other things to keep you safe until help arrives.

7. Take regular breaks on long road trips.

If you’re taking a road trip while pregnant, then you’ll want to take periodic breaks to protect your health and the health of the fetus. Park your vehicle safely and go for a walk every few hours. Healthy circulation, particularly in your legs, is important.

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8. Stop driving after 30 weeks.

There’s no specific rule about when pregnant women should stop driving. Most women, however, stop driving at around 30 weeks. Some women stop driving as soon as they enter their third trimester. Others stop driving as soon as their pregnant belly starts to touch the steering wheel. Obviously, the less time you spend driving, the less likely you are to be involved in a collision. And, when you’re a passenger in a vehicle that someone else is driving, you don’t have to worry about the steering wheel impacting your baby during a collision.

9. Understand that air bags are safe for pregnant women.

Some people have the mistaken idea that airbags are dangerous for pregnant women. In reality, the National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that a combination of airbags and seat-belts offers pregnant women the highest level of protection. However, you should try to sit as far back from the front air bag (the one that comes out of your steering wheel) as possible. Side airbags have been shown to pose no threat to pregnant women.

10. Get checked after any collision.

If you’ve been involved in a collision, then it’s crucial that you check the health of your baby after the collision – even if the collision was relatively minor and you were unharmed. Research shows that pregnant women involved in crashes with undocumented injuries face a greater risk of premature labor caused by a placental abruption. Even a minor, seemingly insignificant collision can have serious effects on you and the baby. Most paramedics are specially trained to treat pregnant women after a collision. Generally speaking, however, you’ll want to get the fetus’s heart rate checked after a collision.

Driving is one of the most dangerous things most people do in an average day. Fortunately, by taking specific precautions, you can significantly reduce your risk of being involved in a collision while pregnant. Follow the tips above to make sure you stay safe when driving while pregnant.

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