Tips For Pregnant Women to Protect Their Babies From Car Accidents

pregnant woman in a white dress
Madeleine Jones
September 9, 2021

Serious car accidents can be very upsetting to everyone involved. However, expectant mothers have additional reasons to be concerned. A pregnant woman in a car accident worries about their babies in addition to themselves. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to tell if an unborn baby is injured or not. Even when the mother doesn’t appear to be hurt, the baby can often sustain life-threatening injuries. If you or your unborn baby gets injured in a car accident, call the car accident attorneys in Las Vegas and Henderson for advice and guidance. Meanwhile, we can offer some tips for pregnant women to protect their babies from car accidents.

Additionally, it is important to know Nevada’s car seat laws for when the baby is born. Learn more here.

Car Accident Risks To Unborn Babies

Even if babies are considered relatively safe inside their mother’s womb, intense or sudden pressure on their mom’s abdomen can be life-threatening to them. The following are the risks a pregnant woman in a car accident can face:

  • Uterine rupture: it happens when the uterine wall tears and causes bleeding and abdominal pain. It can also change the uterine contractions, possibly resulting in the death of both mother and baby.
  • Placental abruption: This can be a very serious complication where the placenta gets detached from the uterine wall. This will starve the baby of oxygen and nutrients. It potentially can cause the mother to suffer a miscarriage or go into premature labor.
  • Miscarriage: after a trauma or impact during an accident a mother can miscarry.
  • Premature birth: any birth before 37 weeks of gestation is considered premature because the unborn baby has not had enough time to fully develop. A car accident may cause the mother to go into premature labor, potentially causing medical issues for the baby. A premature baby can develop congenital disabilities that can affect their entire life. These include heart defects, autism, blindness, lung problems, hearing loss, and intellectual disabilities.
  • Infection: in a severe car accident, a foreign body such as metal, glass, plastic, and fluids can make its way into the mother’s blood and tissues. It can make its way into the unborn baby as well. If this is not treated, the foreign bodies can cause sepsis, and sometimes a fatal blood infection.
  • Fetal injuries: during a car accident a baby can sustain an internal injury such as head trauma or internal bleeding.
  • Maternal shock: when a pregnant woman loses blood after a car accident their body struggles to pump more blood into her organs. During this time, that blood flow is not directed at the baby.

How Can Pregnant Woman Help Protect Their Unborn Baby?

While some pregnant women minimize the time they drive a car, others refuse to drive entirely. The following are some tips to help pregnant women protect their unborn babies.

#1 Let Someone Else Drive

Pregnant women who drive have a higher chance of significant injury than if they were passengers. During car accidents, the steering wheel can injure the unborn baby. The best position for a pregnant woman is often near the car’s center, away from any objects.

#2 Drive Safely

Even if when we can’t control how other people are driving, we can control how we drive. Pregnant women should follow every traffic law and be aware of their surroundings. Drivers who don’t drive distracted are less likely to get in car accidents. Expectant mothers always have to wear their seatbelts, with the lap belt underneath the baby bump.

#3 Move The Seat Back

Drivers who are pregnant should move the seat back and away from the steering wheel as much as they can while still being able to drive. They should also tilt the steering wheel away from their abdomen so it doesn’t hurt their baby in an accident.

#4 Never Drive Sick

Lightheadedness and morning sickness are common symptoms during pregnancy. If you feel unwell, don’t drive. Wait until you feel better or have someone else drive you.

If you Have an Accident, Call the Henderson and Las Vegas Car Accident Attorneys

If you are pregnant and get involved in a car accident, stay calm and think clearly. At the same time, if your unborn baby is hurt and you panic, this can affect your judgment. Do the following:

  • Get off the road: get to safety unless you are too injured and can’t move.
  • Call 911: when you call 911, tell them you are pregnant and you were involved in a car accident. Listen to what they say carefully, and answer their questions.
  • Get medical attention: if you are injured, seek immediate medical help. If you are not aware of any injuries, still get attention. If there is any medical help at the accident scene, allow them to check you and your baby. Emergency responders have different protocols for the treatment of pregnant women, so make sure you tell them you are pregnant. Then follow up with your regular obstetrician and doctors.
  • Call a car accident attorney in Las Vegas or Henderson: experienced car accident attorneys can lead you in the right direction. They can build a strong case and get you the compensation you deserve.

Documentation is Key

Even if your accident was minor, always document everything. Where, when, and how the accident took place. Who was involved, were there any witnesses? Make sure you take photos and videos from different locations of the accident scene. Take pictures of the cars involved as well. 

Collect names, addresses, license plates, phone numbers, driver’s licenses, insurance information, etc. Check that the driver’s licenses match with the people that were driving. Take photos of the people driving and the passengers too.

When you get to talk to a police officer, give them all of the accident information and fully cooperate. Ask them when and how to get a copy of the police report. Ask for the officer’s name and contact information. If you get medical attention at a clinic or hospital, write down the doctor’s names who treated you and the treatment you got.

In the next 24 hours, call your insurance company and tell them what happened, and file a claim if needed.

Call A Car Accident Attorney 

Pregnant women can become subject to significant medical bills for their unborn babies and themselves. Inpatient and outpatient medical care, premature delivery, neonatal care, and trauma can be very expensive. If you were involved in an accident and you or your baby suffered injuries, call Cogburn Law at (702) 747-6000 for help. We understand Nevada accident laws and injuries to pregnant women and their babies.