Traveling in motor vehicles is inherently a risky activity for all of us, however the risk increases considerably if you are pregnant. According to U.S. National Library of Medicine “Automobile crashes are the largest single cause of death for pregnant women and the leading cause of traumatic fetal injury mortality in the United States.”
There have been many real world experiences and several official studies done that have started to open the world’s eyes to the issue of injuries caused by the transfer of energy through the seat belt to pregnant women and their unborn babies. It has been demonstrated that during a crash the lap portion of the seat belt can penetrate into the abdomen area causing injury to mom and the developing baby (fetus).
Even NHTSA while describing their recommendation for how to wear the seat belt pregnant while pregnant says:
The seat belt is one of the most fundamental pieces of technology that has been offered to us. The sad reality is that the conventional 3-point lap and shoulder belt was not designed for, or required to be tested for, it’s effects on pregnant women or their unborn child when involved in motor vehicle crashes.
To date the best official recommendation by the medical field, the government and auto manufacturers is: “The lap belt should be placed below your belly, touching your thighs, and low and snug on your hip bones.”
In reality several independent studies, including a study conducted by Tummy Shield, found that the seat belt always lifted and rested firmly across the belly.
The amount of potentially injury causing energy in a crash can be hard to comprehend. One simplified formula (though not technically precise) is speed x weight, i.e.: a 120 pound occupant going 30mph would require almost 6,000 pounds of restraining force to restrain them if there were no other means to absorb and dissipate the crash energy.
Most people involved in such an accident will sustain lacerations and bruising from the restraining system, mainly the seat belt and in more serious cases internal injuries. However, when pregnant, no matter how good the restraint is it will ultimately have to be in front of the fetus, therefore the fetus becomes the first point of energy absorption.
For this reason most studies have shown that even in a minor crash or hard braking, a fetus will most likely sustain some injury even if the mother is not injured at all. According to a study conducted by Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center (HIPRC) “Pregnant women who are hospitalized following motor vehicle crashes are at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, even if they are not seriously injured or not injured at all.”
We believe the Tummy Shield™ is the very best option available today to remove the possibility of the lap portion of the seat belt intruding into the abdominal area causing injury to mom, baby or uterus/placenta.