A British inventor has created a seatbelt designed specifically for pregnant women. The Pixie Car Seatbelt Harness uses a four-point harness system to spread the force of an impact away from the abdomen and towards the chest and shoulders of a woman, increasing an unborn baby’s chances of survival in the event of an accident.
Its inventor, Stephen Weston, from Bury, came up with the belt after sympathising with a pregnant lady convicted of driving without a seatbelt.
Weston believes hers wasn’t an isolated case and that the majority of pregnant women don’t wear seatbelts correctly, if at all, because it simply isn’t comfortable for them. “Women come in all shapes and sizes and so do cars,” he told us. “So getting the seatbelt in the right place is difficult.”
The Pixie, while slightly more difficult to fit than a standard seatbelt, should be far more comfortable and safe since it doesn’t place pressure on the abdomen, even in the event of an impact. It should, in theory, also prove useful to stoma patients, who are exempt from wearing seatbelts if they use an external colostomy bag. Even ‘normal’ drivers can benefit, he Weston claims, since they won’t be thrown clear of the seatbelt in side impacts.
According to Weston, the Pixie Car Seatbelt Harness is hand-made by the same people that make harnesses for Formula 1 drivers, and attachment is easy; the driver simply fits their regular seatbelt as normal, before connecting the Pixie to the diagonal belt and passes both parts behind them. The final step is to connect the harness straps and adjust for tightness.
The Pixie Car Seatbelt Harness is available to buy online for £199. Weston’s long term aim is to reduce the cost by securing long-term investment that would allow the belts to be mass-produced. If you want one for yourself, head over to the Pixie Web site and place an order, or if you’d like ot invest, check out the Pixie page on crowdcube.com