10 Basic Tips to Drive Safely During Pregnancy
Guest post by Nitin Yadav
Pregnancy doesn’t mean you can stop living your life. Most women continue working rather late in their pregnancy – even if you’re not working outside of the home, the chores won’t wait for nine months. Those groceries need shopping and other kids will continue to have to go to school or activities. Many modern activities require you to drive. However, driving is always risky and it can be especially challenging as a pregnant woman. So, how do you drive safely during pregnancy? Here are ten tips to keep in mind.
#1: Consider buying a Tummy Shield
Wearing a seat belt is necessary when you are driving. However, as your tummy continues to grow, wearing the seat belt can become a struggle. You also don’t want to start tweaking your own seat belts – for example, you should never just flip it behind your back, as this won’t protect you during an impact.
You should definitely consider buying something such as the Tummy Shield. The product is essentially a cushion you place on the seat and which helps you wear the seat belt correctly, but without it pressing against your stomach. You’ll be able to continue driving without feeling uncomfortable or placing your unborn baby in danger.
#2: Prepare for breakdowns and emergencies
You should always be prepared on the road, but especially so during pregnancy. It’s a good idea to purchase an emergency first aid kit for the car and to have things such as rechargeable battery (to ensure you can call help), flashlight, a blanket for staying warm during a breakdown and some energy bars to ensure you don’t start feeling too out of energy if you need to wait for repairs. You can purchase comprehensive car repair and emergency kits from retailers like Getallparts. Check out Frugaa for vouchers to keep the cost of your car essentials low.
#3: Position your seat correctly
You will also need to find the correct driving position – the bigger your tummy gets, the more different this will be to your usual position. You want to move the seat slightly back from the steering wheel. Naturally, you need to ensure you’ll still be able to reach the pedals appropriately.
A good length is to have your breastbone about 10 inches away from the steering wheel. In some models, you might be able to change the position of the wheel as well, so always check it is pushed as far as possible and to have the steering wheel tilting toward the breastbone instead of the abdomen. When you’re driving, avoid leaning forward.
#4: Plan for more breaks
When you’re pregnant, your body will behave differently and you need to adjust to these changes, especially when driving. You might get tired quicker, require more energy to drive a specific distance or simply need to use the toilet more regularly. It’s important to ensure you prepare for these and leave more room for breaks than you might normally. This is important because you don’t want to be stressed on the road and start driving more carelessly just because you’re in a hurry.
Add at least ten to 15 minutes to your journeys. Make sure to eat something before you hit the road and have an energy bar at hand. If you have no idea about the closest cafes or servicing stations on your journey, check them out before or download an app like Moto Deals.
Download our free PDF guide: Safer Driving During Pregnancy
#5:Focus on your driving style
You always want to drive safe, but especially so when there’s a baby on board. You want to follow the rules and make sure you’re not tailgating other cars. Essentially, you want to pay more attention to your driving style.
To make it slightly easier, you could get yourself a driving app that analyses your driving style. See what your biggest ‘sins’ are and try correcting your driving style. If you need to drive in new environments, even a GPS app might be useful in helping you stay calm and composed on the road. (We like Waze especially since it has a child reminder option as part of the app. Helpful for new parents!)
You don’t need any distractions when you are driving. The following advice shouldn’t just be applicable if you’re pregnant but this is the perfect time to remind you of the necessity of removing distractions. This means don’t use the phone while you drive, don’t eat while driving and limit your need to talk to other passengers in the car. If you have kids, have a tablet to entertain them or have someone traveling with you who can ensure your full attention is on the road.
#7: Drink a lot of water
Staying hydrated will help you stay alert and energetic. Keep sipping a bit of fruit flavored water to guarantee you don’t feel fatigued while on the road. Of course, this might make you need to stop more but it’s better than being tired!
#8: Keep people informed
Let someone know whenever you’re about to hit the wheel. You want to tell them where you are going and what time you’re expecting to arrive. This can ensure the person can check up on you and alert help if you don’t ring them back.
#9: Get yourself checked in the case of an accident
If you have an accident, such as a collision, you want to get yourself checked. Even when you feel OK, you want to have your doctor to have a listen or look around to see what is going on. Remember to stay calm in these situations and don’t start fearing for the worst!
#10: Minimize your need to drive
The closer you get to your due date, the less you should drive. You do not want to be on the road as you go into labor. Therefore, although you don’t have to stop driving immediately, you do want to start minimizing your need to drive as your pregnancy progresses. Seek alternate arrangements and make sure you have other ways of getting around to your appointment. Ask friends and family if you need help. The key is to only drive as long as you feel comfortable.
With the above ten tips, you can drive safely during pregnancy and enjoy your normal life. You just want to keep your wits about it – stay alert and remember to listen to your body. If you start feeling like driving isn’t a good idea, it’s better to find an alternative way of getting around. When you’re pregnant, you want to do things that feel comfortable and safe.
We want to know, have you changed your driving habits to drive safely during pregnancy? Share your comments below.
Nitin Yadav from Frugaa, an avid blogger, online marketing specialist and a doting father of two. Combining his personal experiences with in-depth research on safety for kids and interactive learning methodologies, he has been able to put together this comprehensive list of tips on safety while driving during pregnancy.
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