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Are airbags safe for pregnant women?

dashboard with the word airbag on itIt is natural for pregnant women to worry about risks to their unborn babies. From the foods they eat to concerns about driving, pregnant women have a lot to worry about. When it comes to driving, expectant mothers worry that wearing seat belts will hurt their babies, and others have the same concern about airbags.

Are Seat Belts and Airbags Dangerous?

It has been proven that seat belts save lives. Unfortunately, not everyone wears them and many lose their lives because of it. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and death by about half. Additionally, of the teens who died in car accidents in 2012, over half of them were not wearing their seat belts at the time the collisions took place.

With news like this, it’s difficult to understand why anyone would avoid wearing a seat belt while in a vehicle. Some pregnant women fear that seat belts can harm their unborn children by pressing too tightly against their stomachs.

This same fear is also what stops many expectant mothers from feeling safe in vehicles that are equipped with airbags. The concern has to do with the deployment of the airbags and how they may come into contact with the stomach. The force at which an airbag deploys is quite strong, which means that it could cause harm to the mother or the baby if it comes in contact with the stomach.

Trauma to the stomach can cause a variety of problems with both the mother and the baby, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor, premature membrane rupture, and placental abruption.

Should Pregnant Women Use Airbags? 

Many expectant mothers believe that disengaging the airbag features on their vehicles can prevent them from experiencing problems should the airbags deploy. Many also consider not wearing their seatbelts as long as the airbag still works. The problem is, seat belts and airbags are still the safest features available and can work together to save lives.

Not wearing your seatbelt and only relying on the protection of the airbag leaves you at risk for being ejected from your vehicle. Additionally, not wearing a seat belt can also cause you to collide with the vehicle interior and passengers. Deactivating the airbag puts you at risk for hitting your face against the steering wheel, dashboard, and windshield. Therefore, the best thing you can do is use them together. Fortunately, you can increase your chances of preventing airbag injuries by adjusting your vehicle.

  • Keep your distance. Move your seat back to create a 10-inch space between you and the steering wheel. Doing this can stop the airbag from hitting your stomach and causing problems such as placental and uterine abruption. Start your measurement at the air bag cover (the piece of plastic on the steering wheel) and end at your stomach. Keeping a space like this gives the airbag the opportunity to deploy without hurting your stomach.
  • Wear your seat belt properly. Positioning your seat belt properly can prevent it from hurting your baby, while still offering you protection. This is accomplished by placing the lap band underneath your stomach, so that it is firmly against your pelvis and hips. Avoid placing the lap band over your stomach. The shoulder band should extend away from your neck, but rest on your shoulder and work its way down between your breasts. Never position the shoulder band so that it is behind your back or shoulders.

Did Someone Else’s Negligence Cause You or Your Baby Harm?

If, despite your best efforts, you became the victim of a car accident in which you or your unborn child was injured, you have rights and the attorneys of Wayne Wright want to help you fight for them. You may be eligible to receive compensation that can help pay for medical bills, vehicle repairs, and time lost from work. Call 800-237-3334 to schedule your appointment to speak with a compassionate legal professional and find out how we may be able to help you get the justice you deserve.