Almost everyone agrees that seatbelt use saves lives, but some groups have a harder time than others using a standard safety belt. Although many products have been developed for infants, children and teenagers due to their increased level of risk, little has been done to address this issue for pregnant women. The increased tension caused by the mother’s expanding belly can put the unborn child’s life at risk during a car accident when a conventional seatbelt is used.
To address this issue, Pete Calderon, Jr., an inventor from Mission Viejo, California, has developed a safer seatbelt system (harness) for pregnant women. This device is intended to prevent injury or death to the unborn child if an accident were to occur.
The description from the patent filing for this seatbelt design:
- Nylon webbing restraint with an area for accommodating the mother’s stomach area
- Lower abdominal elastic strap circumventing the developing fetus
- Profile of seatbelt designed with larger surface area of contact with mother which emphasizes force of restraint onto mother and not fetus
- Two-inch webbing back strap to also help distribute restraining force over an increased surface area
Seatbelt Use During Pregnancy
The average pregnancy lasts for about 40 weeks. During this time, most expectant mothers travel by car practically every day to go to work, to the doctor or to the store. Although a pregnant mother and her unborn child is safer wearing a safety belt than skipping this precaution, most standard seatbelts have a lap belt that is positioned directly over the baby. As the pregnancy advances, the chances of serious injury to the unborn child rise due to the increased level of pressure applied to the mother’s belly.
What to do if You’re Involved in an Accident While Pregnant
If the unthinkable happens and you’re involved in an accident while pregnant, your actions immediately afterward could mean the difference in your unborn child’s health. After an accident, you have an increased risk of internal bleeding, miscarriage, pre-term labor, birth defects or other complications. Although stress is a more subtle risk, emotional distress during pregnancy should not be ignored. If the accident is very minor and you feel fine, you may be OK to just see your doctor as soon as it’s practical. However, if you feel anything unusual, you should call 911 immediately. Here are some reasons to seek medical attention right away:
- Loss of Consciousness
- Severe Pain in Your Abdomen
- Vaginal Bleeding
- Loss of Fluid from Your Vagina
- The Umbilical Cord Has Passed through Your Vagina
Unfortunately, expectant mothers and their unborn children are injured or killed due to the negligence of other drivers every day on our nation’s roadways. If you’ve suffered a loss in this manner, call us today: 619-752-2217 . We can protect your rights and help you recover the financial compensation that you need and deserve to recover from this tragic experience.