A car accident, no matter how trivial it is, is a scary experience for everyone. But a car accident while pregnant can be even more terrifying. Worst still, the trauma the mom-to-be experiences due to the accident can also affect the unborn child, putting his/her health and life at risk.
While there are no exact data indicating how many pregnancies are lost in the U.S. every year due to motor vehicle accidents, the number is estimated to be anywhere between 1500 and 5,000 fetal deaths from such car crashes. Most miscarriage happen during the first trimester or so, making it rather difficult to get exact numbers. It is only the fetuses that die over 20-week gestational age are recorded.
However, according to Journal of the American Medical Association, “motor vehicle crashes account for four of five deaths that occur among unborn babies of pregnant women who experience trauma.”
Car Accidents and Pregnant Women
“Automobile crashes are the largest single cause of death for pregnant women and the leading cause of traumatic fetal injury mortality in the United States.” — U. S. National Library of Medicine
What makes driving while pregnant a major challenge is the fact that seat belts, which are considered to a key safety element, are not optimally designed for keeping pregnant women safe. While they work for most people, pregnant women and their unborn babies need something more (including a three-point seat belt) to avoid the trauma during a car crash.
Besides, the abdomen-to-wheel clearance decreases with the increasing in the fetuses’ gestational age. This further increases the chances of injury and trauma even if it was a minor crash. In addition, these soon-to-be moms usually have a tendency to drive in mid-seat height conditions and they prefer not to move further away from the steering in order to operate the pedals comfortably. But this habit makes driving while pregnancy even more challenging as there is less room for abdomen-to-wheel clearance.
All these factors often lead to injuries such as uterine rupture or laceration, placental abruption, and direct fetal injury etc. for pregnant occupant(s) involved in motor-vehicle crashes. The following are the most dangerous types of car crashes for a soon-to-be-mom and her unborn child:
- Side-impact, or T-bone, collisions
- Rollover accidents
- Head-on accidents
- Rear-end collisions
So if you are pregnant and somehow got yourself involved in a car accident, safety should be your first priority. Get medical attention as soon as possible, you can worry about whose fault it was and the claims later.
Things You Need to Do Soon After an Accident
As said, first priority for pregnant occupant(s) involved in car crashes is to immediately seek medical help to ensure the safety of both the mother and the unborn baby. Do this even if it is a minor fender-bender incident. The mental anguish like stress and emotional duress that result from the trauma can lead to birth complications or worse, the death of the fetus.
Call 911 and/or other emergency immediately. Some of the most common conditions pregnant women are like to feel after the accident include:
- Experience vaginal bleeding
- Feel pain in belly or pelvis
- Lose consciousness
- Experience leaking fluid from the vagina and/or feel the umbilical cord is bulging into the vagina
In case, the latter actually happens, get down to your knees immediately, keeping your buttocks higher than your head. This helps in decreasing the pressure on the umbilical cord and is likely to keep the baby safe until you receive medical attention.
Even if you are released by the medical professional, it is recommended to continue to monitor yourself for hours, days, weeks, and months for symptoms indicating a problem. The following are some of the conditions you need to be careful about:
- Swelling in your fingers or face
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Pain in your shoulder areas or abdomen
- Increased vaginal discharge or a leakage of fluid
- Persistent vomiting that has nothing to do with morning sickness
- Severe, constant headaches
- A noticeable change in the baby’s movement
- Chills or a fever
- Faintness or dizziness
- Urgent and painful urination
If you experience any of these conditions even months after the car accident, immediately get medical attention to seek further treatment. It is very important to remember that even a minor accident can lead to high-risk pregnancy, premature birth, or worse, miscarriage. You may even require to visit a perinatologist or maternal-fetal specialist apart from your regular doctor. These are doctors specialized in high-risk pregnancies.
When to Hire an Attorney if You’ve Been in a Car Accident While Pregnant
Pregnant drivers are likely to have more car crashes. ~ Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Any pregnant woman involved and injured in a car crash should ideally seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney, especially if she experiences any of the conditions mentioned above. High-risk pregnancies need additional medical care and will therefore incur additional cost. In fact, their costs usually outweigh the cost of a normal pregnancy by a large extend.
A personal injury attorney will help you file your claim and also help you recoup these costs. And unfortunately, if you have had a miscarriage, a lawyer can not only help you claim compensation for the loss but also help you deal with the agonizing and heart-breaking experience with professional legal counsel.
In short, you need a personal injury attorney protect you and your unborn baby’s rights by pursuing legal action against the at-fault party. Depending upon your situation, an attorney can assist you recover financial damages to compensate for medical expenses, loss of income, and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
How to Prevent a Car Accident While Pregnant
Never trade safety for comfort when driving while pregnant. A three-point seatbelt, for example, can be often uncomfortable but it will surely keep you and your baby safe from the impact in case of a car crash.
Also, follow other safe driving tips when you are driving or riding a car while pregnant. And if you have been involved in a car crash, never take things for granted. Even if there is no visible injury, visit the emergency room soon after the accident and get yourself examined to ensure that your baby isn’t physically hurt. Remember that it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Author: Rachel Oliver is a freelance writer from Florida, who loves to write about topics like personal injury law, automobile accidents law, and medical negligence law. Currently, she is writing on behalf of a civil trial attorney, Christopher Jayson, Founder at JFSW Law. He has tremendous trial experience in cases involving automobile, truck and motorcycle accidents, inadequate security and premise liability, products liability, medical malpractice, and commercial litigation.
School is out and summer is the time when families hit the road together for that memorable family vacation. As you plan your road trip and route your destinations, make sure your car has the appropriate first-aid and emergency kit contents and do a maintenance double check to ensure your car is in tip-top shape for the open road.
Ever since I was little, I have always looked forward to vacationing with family and friends. Growing up, we took a lot of road trips because we lived in a very central location to many awesome places. Sure, flights will get you to your destination in a more convenient and sometimes cheaper way, but road trips are a perfect family bonding experience. Check out three road trips across America that you should take with your kids before they are too old to enjoy playing “I Spy” in the car.
Washington D.C. is the perfect road trip for kids because it combines learning with fun. There is an abundance of museums, monuments, attractions and sporting events available in D.C. for your whole family to enjoy. There are so many kid-friendly attractions that offer hands-on experiences.
What to See and Do: Smithsonian Museums, American Art Museum, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, The Korean War Veterans Memorial, Pentagon Memorial, The National Zoo, The National Archives, The International Spy Museum
Road Trip to the Coasts
I have very fond memories of enjoying summers at the beach. Whether you decide to road trip it to Florida, the Carolinas, or California, you are bound to have some fun in the sun. The great thing about going to the beach is that they are in abundance across the U.S. so you can choose the one closest to you. Just grab your swimsuit, sunscreen and sunglasses and be a beach bum with your family!
What to See and Do: the ocean, mini-golf, outlet shopping, ice cream shops, the pool, seafood restaurants, ocean activities: parasailing, kayaking, banana boat rides, scuba diving, dolphin watching
Disney World or Disneyland
Who doesn’t love Mickey and Minnie? While you can enjoy Disney at any age, there’s nothing like seeing your child’s face light up when they see their favorite Disney character in person. Visiting Disney World and Disneyland can be quite an expensive trip, so opting for a road trip instead of flying can save you a lot of money and help you cut some expenses. The Disney experience is a trip that your family will never forget!
What to See and Do: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, character experiences, water parks, restaurants, shows, parades.
Be Sure to Prepare
So, in order to make a road trip successful, proper planning ahead and smart packing is important. Because you will be spending a lot of time in your car with your family, you should bring safety items like an emergency kit as well as snacks, blankets, and items to keep your kids entertained. You should make sure that your kit includes first aid items as well as items like a flashlight, whistle, and jumper cables as well as a spare tire in case your car breaks down.
Rest and Relaxation v. Drowsy Driving
Be sure that you get proper rest before getting on the road, because long periods of driving can cause you to be drowsy. Also, try to make sure there is as least one person awake with the driver to keep their mind occupied to stay safe and prevent accidents. A good option to have in your car is an alertme “stay awake” device that can help alert you if you dose off. The alertme is also included in some of the kits.
Now that you’re fully prepared and inspired to take the road trip your kids will be talking about for years, take a photo of your family with your resqme tool, use #resqme, and show us what’s on your keychain!
Happy road tripping!
Author: Samantha Tung handles online media relations for Caliber Collision. She regularly produces content for a variety of lifestyle and automotive blogs, and in her spare time, she enjoys taking road trips and traveling.
Flood Safety Awareness
Recent flooding around the country claimed the lives of many folks who potentially had very bright futures. Flooding can happen in an instant, quickly overtaking your car, but often people ignore road closure signs and drive into flooded roads at their own peril. And when your vehicle becomes stranded in water, it can be easy to panic and make a deadly mistake. Do you exactly what to do if you’re vehicle loses power in the water? Follow these exact steps and share this lifesaving message with your community.
Know the Facts and How to Escape
Fitting Your Child Correctly in the Car Seat
Although the laws concerning child car seats will vary between Western countries, they are all set out with the common purpose of maximizing the safety of young children, particularly in the event of a crash. The type of car seat that is most ideal for your child will depend on his/her age and physical development. A baby in the first year of his/her life should always travel in a rear-facing car seat, as he/she will be pulled into the seat with minimal impact on his/her neck or spinal cord in a crash. Thereafter, the child can be placed in a forward-facing seat and latterly a booster seat as he/she grows older and bigger, until such time that a normal seatbelt can fit snugly across their shoulder and chest. A seatbelt should never cross a child’s neck or face, nor rest on his/her stomach, as these could be lacerated in a crash.
This infographic from Woodstock Motors dispenses hugely important safety advice relating to the selection of a child car seat, as well as offering tips on what to look out for when purchasing one. It sets out to inform parents and guardians that not all car seats are created equal, and by selecting the one that is the best fit for your child, it may just prove the difference between life and death if you and your children are unfortunate enough to be involved in a car crash.
Author and source: Mark Dressekie with http://www.woodstockmotors.co.uk/repairs.html
Lifesaving Testimonial: 16-yr-old driver flips car upside down into water and escapes using her resqme tool to break the window and crawl out!
Her father sent this testimonial to us: “I just wanted to thank you for making this product. Your glass breaker saved my 16 year old daughter today. She rolled her car into a brook and the car went down and if it wasn’t for this product she may have not been with us anymore. She quickly pulled it off her keychain and broke the side window and climbed out. Thank you”
Many people choose fashion over safety when driving. A survey commissioned by price comparison website Confused.com found that 40 percent of women drive in high heels, 39 percent wear flip flops and 24 percent prefer bare feet. Sixteen percent also admitted to driving in slippers while only 34 percent said they drove in sensible shoes.
A simulator study has shown that moving the foot between the brake and the pedal in high heels was 0.13 seconds slower. This could be the difference between braking with enough space or colliding into the back of another vehicle. In addition, 10 percent of people admit that they’ve had their flip-flop get stuck underneath the pedal. With all this in mind, it’s about time we all make better decisions on footwear when driving and not let how we want to look cloud our judgment.
What Is the Safest Footwear to Drive in?
The best footwear for driving is a comfortable, flat, rubber-soled shoe — something that gives you traction and easy mobility between pedals. Wearing sensible footwear to drive doesn’t mean you have to pass up on looking good, though. An on-trend pair of Vans sneakers are perfect to drive in while still keeping your feet stylish.
Options Besides Wearing Heels When Driving
If you just can’t go without heels, an innovative designer has come up with an answer for you. A conceptual footwear design from Sheila’s Wheels, called the Sheila Driving Heel, is a comfortable, flat driving shoe that converts into a glamorous pair of heels at the push of a button, thanks to a folding stiletto. Now you can have the best of both worlds!
If you have that perfect pedicure you just need to show off at all times, Sheila’s Wheels has also come up with a flip-flop add-on that ensures you can drive safely. The specially designed flip-flop straps fit snugly over your flip-flop, giving you more support at the heel and more traction to the pedal. This accessory can easily be scrunched up a fitted into a handbag or your glove compartment for when you need it.
What About Driving Barefoot?
Many people think it’s fine to just take off their heels when driving, but this still doesn’t eliminate safety concerns. Driving barefoot is not considered safe as your foot can easily slip off the pedal due to perspiration. Pressing down on the pedals also causes a lot of pressure on the ball of the foot and could cause cramping.
Even though there aren’t any laws preventing you from driving barefoot (this is a common myth), it doesn’t mean it’s a good way to drive. If you want to be totally safe, ensure you have appropriate driving shoes. The best way is to stay prepared and plan ahead. Always keep a pair of sturdy driving shoes in your vehicle. Don’t wait till you have an accident to make changes.
With great pride and excitement, resqme, Inc. is once again sponsoring the brave Emme Hall and Sabrina Howells as they make their way across the harsh and unforgiving Moroccan desert in the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles – one of the toughest motorsport races in the world.
As team Indian Joans, #178, tackle this nine-day, off road rally through the Sahara, they’ll bring resqme tools with them – no doubt, a useful automotive safety device in case of their own auto emergency – but Hall and Howells will also be handing them out to fellow drivers. As in past races sponsored by resqme, the tools were a hit!
“resqme was also our title sponsor in 2014,” said Howells, navigator for team Indiana Joans. “We gave away over 100 [resqme] tools to the other Gazelle teams and the response was immediate. Everyone loved the idea…”
The Gazelle Rally is an all-female race but that doesn’t mean it’s for sissies. These fierce Gazelles from 30 countries – including US team #178, Indiana Jones – must navigate their vehicle to hidden checkpoints across the desert using just a compass and map.
GPS is not allowed and neither are cell phones. Anything can go wrong in the desert and the race is an ultimate test of willpower, spirit, skill and determination.
At times, teams will find their trucks stuck in the sand and it’s the teamwork and perseverance that keeps you going.
But it’s the relationships you forge on and off the road that cause these Gazelles to come back as changed women. Check out this awesome video by ESPN-W that tells all about the race, the champions and the most difficult opponent – the desert.
credit: Emme Hall
The competition is March 23-31 but technical verification begins March 18. Points are awarded for the shortest distance between checkpoints, not the fastest time. And the team that clocks the fewest kilometers is the winner. We’re rooting for Team Indiana Joans and their Land Rover Defender to own the lead.
You can follow the team and send messages of encouragement at http://www.rallyeaichadesgazelles.com/
Check out more photos and live coverage, too. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on Team 178 and their progress!
Driving to and from work every day can put physical and mental strain on the body. Stop-and-go traffic and unpredictable drivers can make your daily commute nerve-wracking. Even commuting alone can take a toll on mental and physical health, says Psychology Today. Commuters who drive more than 10 miles each way experience higher cholesterol and blood sugar levels, Time reports, probably from the time spent sitting in one place. Blood pressure can spike as well. And to top it off, commuting for more than 30 minutes raises anxiety levels.
Here are five ways to lessen the anxiety and irritability your commute might be causing.
1. Listen to something interesting
Audiobooks and podcasts capture your attention better than hearing the same songs, rants and jokes over and over again on the radio. Listen to something enriching, not noise that irritates or burdens you.
2. Make Sure You’re Physically Comfortable
Long commutes can also aggravate the back, legs, neck and eyes. Here are a few simple modifications that can relieve discomfort:
- Sit on a cushion designed to provide lumbar and lower-back support.
- A cushioned seat belt strap ends irritating strap rub.
- Always wear sunglasses. Polarized lenses used during the commute reduces eye strain from the sun’s glare off snow and other reflective surfaces you may pass. They also help if your commute puts you in the path of sunrises and sunsets.
- Bring a change of clothing and shoes. If you have to dress up for your job, changing into something comfortable for a long drive can make a huge difference.
3. Change Your Route Home Once in a While
Try taking different routes home from work. Variety can be a useful stimulant and even if another route takes a few more minutes, it can take the edge off the usual routine. (If you’ve found a reliable, timely way to get to work, you may want to stick to that route.)
4. If Time Permits, Run Errands
If it’s possible, break up the commute by stopping to pick up a prescription or snack, or do your grocery shopping on the way home. Your body will surely appreciate the break from the driver’s seat and your mind will have something different to focus on than the same drive each and every day.
5. Consider Carpooling or Public Transportation
Very few people actually carpool. The U.S. Census Bureau says more than three-quarters of all people who drive to work are alone in their cars. Being alone for long periods of time every day can be an isolating experience, says Psychology Today.
If a regular carpool isn’t an option, ask around the office to see if there’s someone who lives along your route. Perhaps you can pick up or drop off this person once or twice a week. Having company in the car can be a huge benefit. Studies in Sweden and England found that commuters who used public transportation suffered less from stress and social isolation than those who drove alone.
If public transit is out of the question (and many American cities and suburbs have very poor transit), an occasional or regular passenger could be quite beneficial. Is there a better way to start the day than a cheery “hello!” from a new work buddy?
As a car owner, you dutifully schedule your tune-ups at a local mechanic, take your vehicle in for service when the tires are low and call for help when the battery is dead. While mechanics are great for fixing more serious issues with your vehicle, there are several DIY auto fixes and general maintenance that even beginners can successfully tackle. Check out the following three DIY auto fixes:
Check the Oil
Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. Without it, the engine will not be well-lubricated and can become damaged. As The Savvy Gal notes, checking your oil on a regular basis is one of the smartest and easiest things you can do for your car. All that you need is a clean rag and a level parking spot. Make sure your engine has cooled for at least one hour and then open the hood. The oil dipstick is often orange and has the word “oil” clearly marked. Pull the dipstick out, wipe it clean and put it back into the oil container. Remove the dipstick a second time and look for two marks near the bottom—the visible oil should be between the two of them. If it’s below the bottom mark, your car needs a good drink of motor oil. Check your owner’s manual for the type and amount of oil, and add in one quart at a time, up to about three-fourths of what the manual suggests.
Change a Tire
As anyone who has ever gotten a flat tire in the middle of nowhere knows quite well, it is not a fun experience. While you can call for help, you’ll get back on the road a lot quicker if you can change the flat yourself. The best way to prepare for this experience is in the comfort of your own driveway on a day when the weather is pleasant. Print out instructions from the DMV website on how to change the tire, and check out YouTube for a video or two that shows you exactly what you need to know. Then, roll up your sleeves, grit your teeth and practice jacking up your car, removing the tire’s lug nuts and taking off the old tire. Check the spare to be sure that it’s well-filled with air, and put it on your car. Try this a few times until you are comfortable with the process.
Change the Air Filter
It’s important to change the air filter in your vehicle’s engine regularly. Dirty filters cause poor engine performance and lower gas mileage. Your mechanic typically changes the filter during regularly scheduled tune-ups, but it’s certainly a task you can master. Check the owner’s manual for how often the air filter should be changed and which type is best for your car. Open the hood and look for the filter. Cars that are less than 20 years old usually have their filter in a black casing with clips on the side. Remove the clips and note how the filter is placed in the case, and remove the dirty filter. Put the new filter back in and replace the lid and the clips.
A Few Words About Tools
To do these car maintenance repairs, you need the proper tools. Dummies.com has a great list of suggested supplies, including a durable plastic tool box and a variety of tools including Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, a socket wrench set and several other wrenches, including combination, torque and adjustable varieties. To shop for these tools, check out the Sears website. The company offers a huge selection of wrench sets that are ideal for DIY auto maintenance as well as all the other tools you need to keep your car happy and healthy.
By Social Monsters
The high costs of texting while driving, how it delays your reaction and can contribute to accidents.
Via: Rida Maqbool Connect with her on Twitter @