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Pregnant women 42 per cent more likely to crash

Risk of being involved in a serious accident greatly increases during second trimester of pregnancy.

The chance of a women being involved in a serious road accident greatly increases during pregnancy, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Women between 14 and 26 weeks pregnant (second trimester) were 42 per cent more likely to be involved in a crash that required hospital treatment compared with a woman who isn’t pregnant.

The study of 500,000 women in Canada looked at common whether factors of pregnancy such as nausea, fatigue, distraction and insomnia makes a pregnant women more dangerous on the road. It found the fairer sex was involved in 177 crashes per month on average before pregnancy.

During the second trimester of pregnancy the figure rose to 252 crashes per month ─ an increase of 42 per cent. 1 in 50 women can, therefore, expect to be involved in a serious car accident during pregnancy in Canada.

“Pregnant women often worry about air flights, scuba diving, hot tubs and other topics in maternal health, yet individuals may overlook traffic crashes despite their greater health risks,” University of Toronto physician and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Services in Medicine researcher Dr Donald Redelmeier commented.

“These findings are not a reason to decide not to have children or a reason to stop driving; instead, the findings primarily emphasise the need to drive more carefully,” he added.

Before you give up driving out of fear for harming yourself and the baby, you should know men are still statistically more likely to crash than a pregnant women. Redelmeier said: “The absolute risks among pregnant women, however, are still lower than among men of this age.”

The likelihood of being involved in a crash only increased for drivers and not pedestrians or passengers, the report noted.

Researchers said a “small change in driver behaviour” could prevent traffic accidents from occurring. Signalling when turning, yielding right of way, obeying stop signs, minimising distractions and wearing a seatbelt were some of the pointers.

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