The surprising connection between pregnancy and car crashes

The surprising connection between pregnancy and car crashes

A study of more than a half-million women found that common symptoms of pregnancy including fatigue, nausea and lack of sleep puts them at a “significant” risk for traffic accidents.

Researchers at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Ontario, Canada, say human error related to pregnancy symptoms put pregnant women, especially those in their second trimester, in jeopardy for a serious crash. The findings are published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Among the group studied, during the three years before pregnancy, the women averaged 177 crashes per month. But during the second trimester of their pregnancy, the average jumped to252 per month.

“About 1 in 50 pregnant women will be involved in a motor vehicle crash at some point during pregnancy,” study leaders said.

Researchers say the statistics could improve with awareness of the heightened risks caused by pregnancy symptoms, and if drivers were more focused.

“Almost all traffic crashes could be prevented by a small change in driver behavior,” said study lead author Dr. Donald Redelmeier, in a news release.

Dr. Redelmeier offered advice to drivers, including “avoiding excessive speed, signaling turns, yielding right of way, obeying stop signs, minimizing distractions and always using a seatbelt when pregnant.”

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  1. Pregnant women are carrying precious cargo. Thanks for the great article Vince!

  2. That is fascinating. Thanks for alerting us to this study. As a certified nurse-midwife, I’ll be sure to pass this information on to my patients!

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.