Pregnant Woman and Stethoscope
About one in 50 pregnant women will be involved in a serious motor-vehicle accident, typically during their second trimester, a new study reports.
"Pregnant women often ask me about the safety of air travel, scuba diving and hot tubs, yet many of them overlook traffic crashes, which are a greater threat during pregnancy," said study author Dr. Donald Redelmeier, a physician in the University of Toronto Department of Medicine and a researcher at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).
In the study, researchers examined more than 500,000 pregnant women in Ontario before, during and after pregnancy. Each woman was followed for five years, including four years before delivery and one year after delivery. The researchers looked at whether typical conditions of pregnancy — nausea, fatigue, insomnia and distraction — were contributing to driver error and an increased risk of being in a traffic crashes that sent them to the hospital.
During the period before pregnancy, the study participants were involved in 6,922 crashes (an overall average of 177 per month). In contrast, women who were driving during their second trimester of pregnancy were involved in 727 traffic accidents (252 per month), which represents a 42 percent increase in risk over the baseline.
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