Pregnant women face a higher risk for serious injuries when in a car accident, leading to birth injuries.
Car accidents are tragic events that can cause life-threatening injuries including spinal injuries, brain injuries, and amputations. Certain people are at a higher risk of sustaining serious car accident injuries – small children, the elderly, those who are obese or below average height, and pregnant women. Pregnant women face a high risk for serious injuries when in a car accident, leading to birth injuries.
Car Accidents and Pregnant Women
In research published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, more than 870,000 pregnant women who gave birth between 2001 and 2008 were examined. It was found that car accidents pose a serious threat to pregnant women and their unborn babies. The study revealed that trauma is a leading cause of death among unborn babies. The impact of a car crash can cause damage to the organ systems that are shared by the mother and fetus.
Fetal Injury in a Vehicle Collision
Each year, hundreds of babies are born with complications, injuries, and permanent defects resulting from injuries their mothers suffered in serious car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents cause almost 5,000 fetal deaths each year as a result of collision injuries. The risk of a pregnant woman getting into a car accident is only three percent; however, the risk of the unborn baby suffering injuries if the mother is in an accident is 70 percent. Collision-related birth injuries include:
- Premature birth – A car crash can cause internal injuries that damage the uterus. This can lead to a miscarriage or premature birth.
- Cuts, puncture wounds, lacerations – Debris, sharp objects, and broken glass may puncture the mother’s abdomen. This can cut or stab the fetus.
- Brain damage – Hypoxic (lack of oxygen) effects the uterus and can cause the placenta to detach or can cause maternal bleeding or maternal hypoxia.
How Pregnant Women Can Avoid Injuries
Pregnant women need to be extra cautious when driving and take necessary precautions to avoid getting injured in accidents. Although it may not be possible to completely eliminate the risk of a car accident, certain precautions can reduce the risk:
- Be focused on the road and avoid distracted driving.
- Drive when well rested.
- Be extra cautious when traveling in unfamiliar areas and on longer road trips.
- Wear a seat belt at all times.
These simple steps can go a long way in preventing injuries and fatalities.
Chicago Auto Accident Attorney
When pregnant women are involved in an accident, it poses a risk to both the mother and the unborn child. Birth injuries can have lifelong consequences for the baby. If the accident was a result of someone else’s negligence, damages can be recovered from the at-fault driver. Seek legal help from a Chicago auto accident attorney. Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.