When planning a road trip, there are some important safety and comfort tips to keep in mind:
Being pregnant is no excuse to shed your seatbelt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports seatbelt use slashes the rate of serious crash-related injuries and deaths by approximately half. Buckle up every time you climb into a car using both the lap and shoulder belts. Place the lap belt below the belly and position snugly across the hips. The shoulder strap should extend across your chest between the breasts.
Practice airbag safety. If your car has airbags, turn them on. If you are driving, maintain about 10 inches between your breastbone and the steering wheel. As your pregnancy advances, tilt the steering wheel toward your breastbone and away from your belly.
Limit travel times. Plan frequent rest stops and keep time spent in the car to around 6 hours a day. Take advantage of stops by taking a quick walk to stretch your legs.
Don’t drive distracted. Pay attention to the road and stay alert. Avoid cell phones, texting, snacking, and other distractions when you’re behind the wheel. Pull over if you need to attend to children or set your navigation system.
If you are traveling by car during pregnancy, be sure to plan for the unexpected. Make a note of the closest medical facility and make sure you have emergency contact numbers and medical information on hand. Before traveling, contact your OBGYN with concerns or questions.