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Auto accidents are scary for anyone, but you have even more reason to be distressed as an expectant mother. If you’ve been in a collision, call a car accident injury attorney in Virginia as soon as possible. In the meantime, here’s more information about why car accidents are dangerous for unborn babies and how mothers can protect themselves and their child.

Injuries to Pregnant Women in Car Crashes

About 170,000 car accidents in the US each year involve pregnant drivers or passengers. This means about 6 to 7 percent of all pregnant women are involved in an accident during their pregnancy. Consider the injuries a mother and her unborn child could sustain:

  • Miscarriage: The sudden impact or trauma of a car accident could cause the mother to lose her baby.
  • Premature birth: If the mother suffers severe injury or bleeding, doctors may have no choice but to extract the baby early.
  • Birth defects: An injured fetus could be born with cognitive, behavioral, or physical impairments.
  • Shaken baby syndrome: If a developing fetus is tossed around the womb, it could sustain life-threatening injuries to the neck, shoulders, head, or brain.
  • Placental abruption: Trauma to the abdomen could cause the placenta to detach from the uterine wall, a condition associated with miscarriage, uncontrolled bleeding, or premature labor.
  • Hypoxia: If the mother goes into shock after an accident, blood could divert away from the placenta, causing oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain.

How Can Expectant Mothers Protect Their Child?

Follow these tips to help you stay as safe as possible on the road while pregnant:

  • Move the seat back: Sit as far back from the steering wheel as possible while still reaching the pedals.
  • Let someone else drive: Pregnant drivers are more likely to suffer significant injuries than pregnant passengers, so let someone else take the wheel whenever possible.
  • Sit in the back seat: This way, you won’t risk having an airbag go off against your abdomen, which could injure your unborn child.
  • Wear your seatbelt: Some women are concerned that strapping a lap belt under their belly will injure their unborn child in a crash. However, the opposite is true. According to a study by the University of Michigan, if all pregnant women worse seatbelts, an estimated 84 percent of fetal deaths and disabling birth defects caused by car accidents could be avoided.

What to Do After a Car Accident

If you are involved in a crash, do your best to remain calm and think clearly. Get your car off the road, phone the police, and call for an ambulance if anyone is visibly injured. Even if you appear unscathed, it’s important to visit your obstetrician-gynecologist for a check-up as soon as possible.

Then, call Childers and Associates to discuss your rights after an accident. Our personal injury attorney will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for you and your baby’s injuries. Call our Manassas, VA, office today at (703) 330-6300 to request your free case review.