There is a lot that matters when it comes to car safety.
It matters if your child wears a coat in a car seat.
It matters if you can pinch the harness strap.
It matters if you can move your car seat more than an inch.
I could go on and on, each little piece of the puzzle can make a difference.
Just like it matters if you use a pregnancy seat belt positioner.
And it matters which pregnancy seat belt adjuster you choose.
We’ll share “because” answers to the big “why” questions as they come in…
1. Why does the Tummy Shield cost so much?
We sometimes get the question about why the Tummy Shield costs what it does. It’s because it matters…
Do you also ask that about your car insurance or your home insurance? No one buys insurance for when everything is OK. We buy insurance just in case something dreadful happens. If nothing dreadful ever happens, sure your out some money, but you felt peace of mind that whole time knowing you were protected. That’s the value in Tummy Shield.
Or look at it the other way. If you don’t have car insurance and you get into a crash, you have to pay a lot of money to fix your car, for any medical expenses and, if you are at fault, the other driver’s as well. If you get into a crash during pregnancy without a Tummy Shield, sure maybe everything will be OK. And maybe you’ll miscarry the baby. That will include paying for medical treatments and time off of work. Not to mention the emotional heartache it will cost you.
But you know all that and you still wonder about the price tag? Well, read on, because it matters…
Because how it’s designed/engineered matters.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises pregnant women to wear the seat belt as low as possible — below the pregnancy if possible. Many maternity seat belt products available are designed to help the pregnant mom keep the seat belt low.
However, studies show that even when wearing the seat belt “properly positioned”, there are still risks to the pregnancy from the seat belt itself. And knowledge of how a pregnancy develops indicates there is no way to position the seat belt low enough to not interfere with the pregnancy as the pregnancy progresses.
In fact, according to Jim Hofferberth, former Director of the Office Of Crashworthiness at NHTSA, the administration has known since the 60s that the position of the portion of the belt is not ideal for pregnant women. But at the time they were trying to get more people to just wear a seat belt so they couldn’t really say “but by the way it’s not super safe for pregnant women.”
Tummy Shield accounts for this by completely redirecting the lap portion of the seat belt away from the pregnant belly. It creates a leg harness much like you would see in a specially designed seat belt for a race car.
There are some less expensive copy cat products available that also redirect the lap belt. But they are made of plastic. They are not likely strong enough to hold up to an actual crash (see materials).
Because the materials it is made of matters.
While it looks like a nice cushy cushion, it’s what’s inside that matters most. Inside is a heavy single-piece, stainless steel pad with seat belt anchor.
Unlike some of the plastic or even fabric seat belt positioners available for pregnant women, the strong materials Tummy Shield is made of will stand up to the energy produced in a car crash.
How do we know the materials in Tummy Shield are crash worthy? Because they have been strength tested to ensure it is at least as strong as the seat belt itself (per FMVSS standards). We haven’t found the breaking point of it yet but it is built to withstand at least 5,000 pounds of force.
Because how it was tested matters.
Download our free PDF guide: Safer Driving During Pregnancy
Beyond strength testing, the manufacturer went above and beyond crash testing the Tummy Shield to ensure the seat belt still works as intended with the maternity seat belt positioner. The Australian manufacturer tested the Tummy Shield to Australian and U.S. seat belt standards with both female and heavier-weighted male crash test dummies. Crash tests included higher speed tests in addition to the usual 30mph tests.
Safe Ride 4 Kids also crash tested the Tummy Shield at a U.S. facility with great results. Testing was done under the guidance of a Mechanical Engineer who formerly worked for NHTSA. We also performed comparison testing to see how the Tummy Shield changed how an occupant experienced a crash compared to when using just the seat belt.
Tummy Shield is the only pregnancy seat belt positioner we know for sure was crash tested at all. Much less to the extent Tummy Shield was tested. (see some of our videos on our Tummy Shield page)
Because how it performs in a crash matters.
Most importantly is how the Tummy Shield performs in a real life crash. We have a few reviews, some with pictures, from women who were using the Tummy Shield when they were in a crash on our Tummy Shield reviews page. To briefly summarize, these women exclaim how well the Tummy Shield works and how it likely saved their baby’s life. They report no bruises that are typical when a pregnant woman experiences a crash.
One women shared how she was driving about 75mph on the highway when another car clipped hers and put her into a spin. She ended up experiencing three high speed collisions. She said there is no way her baby would have survived this severe crash had it not been for the Tummy Shield. (We will share more details about her crash when their court case is over.)
Another women wrote to us after she was in a rollover crash using the Tummy Shield. She was driving and her car ended up on the passenger side. This mom-to-be was hanging in the seat belt and Tummy Shield until paramedics arrived. She told us how the ER doctor high-fived her for using the Tummy Shield.
Ok but the price…?
- Hiring mechanical engineers to design a pregnancy seat belt positioner that will protect pregnancies costs more.
- Using high-quality, crash-worthy materials cost more than plastic or fabric and snaps or Velcro.
- Crash testing is expensive. Especially rounds after rounds of crash testing the manufacturer did to make sure Tummy Shield is a reliable solution.
- The results in having a healthy baby after a crash, well, that’s priceless.
Some other cost factors include: importing, customs fees, warehousing, shipping to the customer (yes, free shipping for you is taken into account in the price and shipping nearly 10 pounds is pricey) and other overhead costs (like marketing or credit card processing fees) that prior to starting this business I had no concept of.
Because it matters what you do and what products you trust.
If you have come as far as finding this post, you are already way ahead of most people. While we are slowly reaching out to prenatal health care providers (that’s costly too), we haven’t reached all of them. Many doctors we meet with personally are aware of the number of pregnancies lost from car crashes just in their office and are grateful there is a reliable solution. While they are grateful, they still may not remember to tell their patients.
Most moms-to-be are like Taylor. Taylor researched all kinds of pregnancy topics. But she never came across anything about safe driving. They don’t recall their doctor telling them anything about the seat belt except maybe to wear it as advised.
If you just found out you are pregnant, we know you’re already doing all you can to be a good mom, to keep your baby safe and healthy. Tummy Shield is one of the most important items you purchase to make sure you deliver your baby safe and healthy at the end of these nine months.
One day Tummy Shield will be the standard in pregnancy protection in the car. You can be leader in your community by using it during your pregnancy and sharing it with other moms-to-be.
By Amie Durocher, Creative Director at Safe Ride 4 Kids and certified CPS Tech since 2004
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