Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pregnancy significantly increases risk of serious traffic crashes

Date:
May 12, 2014
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
Pregnancy is associated with a significant risk of a serious car crash requiring emergency medical care during the second trimester, according to a new research. Traffic mishaps place mother and baby at risk of fetal death, chronic disability and complicated emergency medical care. Statistically, about 1 in 50 pregnant women will be involved in a motor vehicle crash at some point during pregnancy.

Pregnancy is associated with a significant risk of a serious car crash requiring emergency medical care during the second trimester.
Credit: Fernando Madeira / Fotolia

Pregnancy is associated with a significant risk of a serious car crash requiring emergency medical care during the second trimester, according to a research paper published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Traffic mishaps place mother and baby at risk of fetal death, chronic disability and complicated emergency medical care.

A study of 507 262 pregnant women looked at whether common features of pregnancy such as nausea, fatigue, insomnia, and distraction could contribute to human error and the risk of a traffic crash requiring emergency medical care. During the 3 years before pregnancy, the women had 6922 crashes (177 per month). During the second trimester, the women, as drivers, had 757 crashes (252 per month). The elevated risk during the middle of pregnancy equalled a 42% increase in serious traffic crashes from baseline.

"Pregnant women often worry about air flights, scuba diving, hot tubs and other topics in maternal health, yet individuals may overlook traffic crashes despite their greater health risks," states lead author Dr. Donald Redelmeier, a researcher with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and a physician at the Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.

Statistically, about 1 in 50 pregnant women will be involved in a motor vehicle crash at some point during pregnancy.

"The increase was almost fully explained by multiple-vehicle crashes in which the woman had been driving a car (not a truck or other miscellaneous vehicle) and had a high triage urgency," writes Dr. Jon Barrett, chief of maternal fetal medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, with coauthors. "Almost all traffic crashes could be prevented by a small change in driver behaviour. The absolute risks among pregnant women, however, are still lower than among men of this age," emphasizes Dr. Redelmeier.

The researchers did not see similar increases among women who were pedestrians or passengers nor increases in the number of falls or risky behaviours.

Dr. Redelmeier stresses, "These findings are not a reason to decide not to have children or a reason to stop driving; instead, the findings primarily emphasize the need to drive more carefully." Standard advice includes avoiding excessive speed, signalling turns, yielding right of way, obeying stop signs, minimizing distractions and always using a seatbelt when pregnant.

"Even a minor motor vehicle crash during pregnancy could lead to irreparable consequences for mother and child," states Dr. Redelmeier. "These findings underscore the importance of prevention and indicate that good prenatal care includes safe driving."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Donald A. Redelmeier, Sharon C. May, Deva Thiruchelvam, Jon F. Barrett. Pregnancy and the risk of a traffic crash. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2014 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.131650

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Pregnancy significantly increases risk of serious traffic crashes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512124304.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2014, May 12). Pregnancy significantly increases risk of serious traffic crashes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512124304.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Pregnancy significantly increases risk of serious traffic crashes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512124304.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins