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Second trimester may be riskiest for pregnant women who drive

With the myriad of studies on the risks of pregnancy, it is probably an afterthought that it is dangerous for pregnant women to be behind the wheel in the later stages of their pregnancies. However, what can happen to a woman during the second trimester of pregnancy, when a woman is ostensibly more likely to feel her best?

A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that there may be a significant danger facing women in their second trimester who drive. According to the study, women at this stage of pregnancy are 42 percent more likely to be involved in a serious accident compared to women in the first or last stages of pregnancy. 

Researchers from the University of Toronto reviewed medical data for women who gave birth in Ontario between 2006 and 2011. Through the information they found, they came up with the following theories:

First, the initial month of the second trimester is the riskiest time for pregnant women behind the wheel.  Second, the closer women were to giving birth, the less likely they were to be in an accident. The researchers also found that women became much more cautious drivers in the first year after their babies are born. While there were no specific reasons behind the findings, it could be that fatigue, nausea and other issues that come with the third and first trimesters, and ostensibly keep women home, may not be present in the second trimester.

The takeaway is that pregnant women must use reasonable care while behind the wheel, just like any other driver in Arizona. They may have to make additional changes to how they drive based on their conditions, but every individual situation is different. 

Source: LA, “Driving while pregnant; Car crash risk spikes 42% in second trimester,” Karen Kaplan, May 12, 2014

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