If you’re en-route to starting a new family – pregnant that is – it’s probably time to adapt to your new life, as well as to the life inside you, by adjusting your driving.

The Stone Age is now a thing of the past, and that means pregnant women no longer have to deal with sitting around at home for 9-months. In today’s modern society, driving during a pregnancy has become an accepted norm. Statistics show that, globally, more and more pregnant women are getting behind the wheel.

However, with a baby bump in front of the wheel, you need to take extra precautions. Remember to always consult your gynecologist to learn if you are healthy enough to drive long distances. Luckily, panorama testing can help you determine any risks you may need to be aware of before undertaking a long journey, with advances in genetic testing allowing parents-to-be to learn how to keep their baby safe, even if there’s an abnormality.

Whether pregnant or not, wearing a three-point belt (lap/shoulder belt) should be second nature! Seat belts can protect you and your baby. In the case of pregnant drivers, the correct way to wear a seat belt is to place the lap section firmly under the belly and securely across the hips – not the waist! The ‘sash’ section of the seat belt should be positioned between the breasts.

But, this does not entirely decrease the risk of road accidents or road injury.

There are ways to minimise the road safety risks of you and your baby, as a pregnant woman behind the wheel… Here are 6 simple tips for safe travel when pregnant:

Drive carefully. Follow the rules of the road, and keep a lookout on the indicated speed limit and road warning signs. Avoid tailgating – the vehicle in front of you may have to slam down their brakes in an instant. Do not text and drive. It’s not only against South African law, but it could cause a vehicle collision or pedestrian accident.

Try not to drive at night… Road visibility is generally reduced at night time, while fatigue is more enhanced. Travelling at night also increases the risks of encountering a drunk driver.

Take regular breaks. As a pregnant woman, you need to maintain regular blood circulation in your legs. Stop the car in a safe area and have a stretch.

Drive with a health emergency kit. Your health is at its greatest risk when pregnant, especially when you’re behind the wheel. Carry a health emergency kit in your boot, in case of road injury; as well as a vehicle breakdown kit – Spare battery, spare tyre, seat belt cutter, etc. Check out why auto-safety kits are vital for road safety and find out what are the important supplies to be driving around with.

In a collision… If you’ve been exposed to a vehicle collision, the first thing you need to do is get the baby’s heartbeat checked, to ensure that no damage has been done. Although you may not feel injured, believe it or not, majority of premature labours are due to placental abruption.

Stop driving when you need to. Drive when necessary. When you enter your third trimester, take a seat back on your couch or bed, and skip the driving part for now. Most pregnant drivers stop taking their car for a spin at 30-weeks. It’s time to #ZARyourtime during your pregnancy – Value the time you have during your pregnancy.

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Value the safety of your child this Mother’s Day. As a pregnant mom, keep off the road and sell your car to CarZar instead.

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