Given the major advances in modern vehicle safety, and women being a key component of the workforce, more and more pregnant women choose to drive through the duration of their pregnancies. But it's important to take into consideration ways you can make the experience better for both you as the driver, and your "passenger."
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind.
1. Seat belts are your friend! Safety experts recommended wearing your seat belt either directly above or over the belly. For those seeking additional comfort as you enter each additional trimester, there are multiple manufacturers of seatbelt extenders that when installed correctly can help ease any discomfort.
2. Get chauffeured! Being a passenger is always more fun than driving, and as women progress to the final stages of pregnancy, it's important to try to always have a friend or partner with you that you can trust. You can never predict what may happen, and it's always best to have someone with you the closer you are to your due date.
3. Do not get too close to the steering wheel. Experts recommend positioning yourself at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel, and also making sure to never have the wheel in a position where it is pointing directly towards the abdomen.
4. Never lean forward. In the event of an accident, it's important to make sure your forward momentum is at its most minimal. The further back you sit in your seat, the better it will be for both you and your baby.
5. Consult with your doctor. Many women too often go it alone on the highway. Please always consult your OB/GYN before you decide to drive. The decision should be made together based on your individual circumstances.
6. Adjust the Seat. With the advent of driver front airbags, it's important to understand the rapid inflation can injure any driver if they are sitting too close. This is very important for women who are in their final trimester. Double-check you are as far back from the steering wheel as possible, making sure you can still steer comfortably and reach the pedals.
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