Study: Pregnant women more at-risk for car crashes - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Study: Pregnant women more at-risk for car crashes

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Canadian researchers investigated the driving risks of pregnant patients by comparing women to themselves for four years leading up to their pregnancy, then one year after giving birth. (Source: KLTV staff) Canadian researchers investigated the driving risks of pregnant patients by comparing women to themselves for four years leading up to their pregnancy, then one year after giving birth. (Source: KLTV staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Pregnant women have plenty of precautions to keep in mind and now their risks behind the wheel are on the list.

A new study published in the Canadian Medical Journal says women are more at-risk for getting into car crashes when they're expecting a child. It's a study that doctors are calling both fascinating and surprising but it's also stumping some health experts.

Canadian researchers investigated the driving risks of pregnant patients by comparing women to themselves for four years leading up to their pregnancy, then one year after giving birth.

"They found [the women] were most likely to be in a motor vehicle accident during the second trimester --specifically the second trimester-- of pregnancy," explains Dr. Daren Yeager at Trinity Clinic OBGYN.

Dr. Yeager says one thing the study can't quite nail down is why the risk is higher.

"Increased risk of accident was the same across all socioeconomic groups and demographics... regardless of complications of pregnancy," adds Yeager.

The study, now published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, says during a woman's second trimester, there is a 42 percent increase in risk of life-threatening car accidents. Researchers suggest pregnant women are more likely to be affected by stress, nausea and fatigue which can become driving distractions.

"One thought I had was, during the second trimester is usually when women start to feel better --they're no longer sick like they are in the first trimester-- so they might be getting out more and just be driving more, therefore they'd be more likely to get into an accident," observes Yeager.

Despite not knowing why, the takeaway for expectant mothers is drive cautiously, know you're at risk and always wear your seat belt.

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