Car safety tips for pregnant drivers
When you're pregnant, suddenly car safety takes on a whole new meaning as you transport your most precious cargo around - your unborn baby!
We asked Lotta Jakobsson, Chairperson of the International Organisation for Standardisation working group on Child restraint systems (in road vehicles) what her top car safety tips are to keep you, your bun in the oven and kids safe while travelling by car. Here are her top tips:
Car safety tip 1) Click clack
We all know seat belts save lives, therefore pregnant women (like everyone else) should always buckle up correctly, but here's some other things you should do when putting on your seat belt:
- Remove bulky clothes so that the seat belt can be placed as close to your body as possible.
- Pull the lap belt over your thighs, lying flat under your baby bump.
- Make sure the torso part of the belt is positioned between your breasts.
- Pull the seat belt tight so it's snug and secure.
REMEMBER: The positioning of the seat belt over your body’s stronger areas – like the upper torso and pelvis – is important for protecting the weaker parts, including your baby belly.
Also, adjust the seat and car steering wheel as your belly grows to get a long distance between you and the steering wheel - but not so much that you are in an unsafe driving position. Studies have shown that the driver airbag offers protection for both pregnant mothers and your unborn baby if you are in a crash.
Car safety tip 2) How to pick a safe car
A modern car is generally safer than an older car. Always choose a car with 3pt seat belts at every seat and make sure the rear seat design offers good geometry for your child's car seat (and that you always use a booster seat). All five star cars are not equally safe, especially in the rear seat. Ask about the safety features and performance in the rear seat when talking to a car dealer before purchasing a new car.
Car safety tip 3) Child safety needs checklist
- Small children should travel in a rear-ward facing car child restraints for as long as possible.
- All child seats should be fixed into the car according to specifications and in the rear seat only.
- Always make sure that your child's car seat is tightly attached and that your child is tightly restrained in the seat.
- Older children should preferably use boosters until they are 140 centimetres tall and ten years old.
Find more car and safety articles
This article was written by Lotta Jakobsson, Chairperson of the International Organisation for Standardisation working group on Child restraint systems (in road vehicles) for Kidspot .