When it comes to saving lives, the seatbelt has done more for automotive technology than any other innovation in history. Nearly every state has some form of a seatbelt law in place (New Hampshire being the only exception), and experts agree that everyone in a car should absolutely wear a safety belt to prevent serious injuries in the event of a crash.
However, pregnant mothers are often unsure as to whether or not they should wear their seatbelt, and how to wear it if so. This is because a typical three-point safety belt like you find in a typical car has a belt that could potentially harm the baby in an accident. Nonetheless, the safety belt rule still applies, and expecting mothers may simply wish to make a few minor adjustments that won’t impact a seatbelt’s functionality but will keep an unborn child safe in a crash. Here are a few safety tips from our Daytona Beach injury attorneys.
- The lap and shoulder belt is the safest. This is the most common type of seatbelt you’ll find in a car today, so odds are it’s what your vehicle already has. Aftermarket safety devices, such as five-point racing restraints, are potentially far more dangerous for expecting mothers and their babies, so it’s best to avoid these (which means no riding go-karts at your local amusement park for a few months).
- Place the lap belt low. The lap part of your seatbelt should be placed below your belly where it is touching your thighs. As your baby grows, this becomes much easier and holds your belt in place. This is the safest place to keep your lap restraint as it is clear of your baby but still holds you in place effectively.
- Never wear your belt above or across your belly. This places your baby at a serious risk for injury if you get into an accident.
- The shoulder belt goes across the center of your shoulder and chest. Like you would normally wear a seatbelt, you should make sure your shoulder belt goes across your body. You can keep it clear of your belly when it goes down to the latch, but always make sure to keep it properly in front of you, and never place it under your arm or behind your back. This places both you and your baby at risk of serious injury should an accident occur.
- Move your seat back. Do you like sitting close to the wheel? You may want to adjust that for the term of your pregnancy. Your breast bone should be at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel (if you are driving) or the dashboard (if you are not driving). Sitting too close could put you or your baby at risk of an injury when the airbag has to inflate.
If you are an expecting mother, continue wearing your seatbelt as normal, use extra caution when driving, and be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you are involved in an accident. If you or your baby sustains an injury as a result of the impact, review your legal options with an attorney and fight to obtain the compensation you need to get the care you and your child deserve.
Politis & Matovina, P.A. has stood up for the rights of numerous clients since opening our doors in 1993, and we have successfully recovered more than $200 million on their behalf. We understand how important it is to have an ally on your side who believes in your case and wants to help you protect your rights and obtain justice. No matter how large or complex your case may be, our attorneys can handle it with the utmost professionalism, giving you the best possible chance at a successful outcome.
Contact Politis & Matovina, P.A. today by dialing 386.333.6613 and request a free case evaluation.