LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — A new study published in a Canadian medical journal says pregnancy, and specifically the second trimester of pregnancy, comes with an increased risk of being involved in a serious car crash.
The researchers observed 507,262 Ontario women for five years — four years before giving birth and one year afterwards.
Women were 42 percent more likely to be involved in a crash during their second trimester of pregnancy than they were before they were pregnant, the study found.
Before pregnancy, the subjects were involved in what equates to 177 crashes per month. In the first month of the second trimester of pregnancy, they were involved in about 299 crashes per month.
The study suggests that nausea, fatigue, distraction and sleep disruption — all common pregnancy symptoms — contribute to the likelihood of human error behind the wheel.
“These findings underscore the importance of prevention and suggest that prenatal care guidelines for pregnant women should include safe driving,” the report concludes.
According to the abstract, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of fetal death related to maternal trauma.
To read the full study, click here.