You’ve been wearing a seat belt for many years. Putting your seat belt on before the car starts moving is likely an automatic action that you didn’t think much about—that is, you didn’t think much about it until you became pregnant. Now, before you buckle up, you want to make sure that you are doing everything that you can to have the seat belt protect both you and your unborn baby.
Here, we will answer some questions you might have about wearing a seat belt during pregnancy, how to best to protect your unborn child, and what to do if you are involved in a car crash during your pregnancy.
Should I Wear a Seat Belt During Pregnancy?
Yes. Organizations such as the March of Dimes recommend that pregnant women wear seat belts. Additionally, Wisconsin seat belt laws do not make exceptions for pregnant women. Instead, the laws apply to pregnant women in the same that they do for other adults. In Wisconsin, all drivers and all passengers over the age of four must wear safety belts while a car is moving. The law does provide an exception for people “…who, because of a physical or medical condition, cannot be properly restrained in a safety belt.” However, you should not assume that this exception applies just because you are pregnant. Instead, if you think there is a medical reason why you should not wear your seat belt during pregnancy, then you should seek advice from your doctor.
How Should I Wear a Seat Belt During Pregnancy?
You may know that you should wear a seat belt during pregnancy, but wonder exactly how it is supposed to be positioned over your growing belly. You are not alone. Many women have questions about how to properly position a seat belt during pregnancy, and the March of Dimes offers the following tips:
- Wear the lap belt and shoulder belt every single time you get in the car.
- Make sure both the lap belt and shoulder strap fit you snugly.
- Position the lap belt under your belly and over your hips. The lap belt should not go straight across your belly.
- The top of the shoulder strap should fit between your breasts and then continue down to the side of your belly.
- If possible, adjust the shoulder strap length to fit you correctly.
You may also be concerned about front seat airbags. You should keep your airbags turned on and position yourself as far from the dashboard as you can. Of course, if you are the driver rather than the passenger, then you want to make sure that you can still safely reach the pedals and steering wheel.
What Should I Do If I’m in a Car Accident While I’m Pregnant?
The steps that you should take after a car crash are the same whether or not you were wearing a seat belt.
The very first thing that you should do is to get medical help even if you don’t immediately feel any symptom of an injury. Car accidents are a leading cause of fetal deaths in the United States. A car accident can cause a serious pregnancy complication such as placental abruption, preterm labor, miscarriage, or stillbirth. A doctor can examine you, order any necessary tests, diagnose any problems, and create a treatment plan for you and your baby.
Additionally, it is important to contact a car accident lawyer if either you or your baby were hurt. An experienced lawyer can determine the cause of your crash and hold the right parties accountable for any injuries.
The attorneys of Hupy and Abraham have more than 200 years of combined legal experience. We have helped more than 70,000 clients through some of the most difficult times of their lives. The insurance companies that do business in Wisconsin know that we mean business, that we go above and beyond the call of duty, and that we provide tough, compassionate, and aggressive representation to each of our clients.
Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation about your rights and to learn more about our Win, or It’s Free Guarantee!