There is no law that states that you cannot drive when you are pregnant. The law states that you must not drive if you cannot do so safely. Pregnancy comes with some physical challenges which may mean it’s safer to stop driving at certain times:
- When heavily pregnant it might be uncomfortable to get behind the steering wheel and have a seat belt fastened, especially if you’re wearing winter clothes. The lap part of the seat belt should sit underneath your belly (as low as possible over your hips) while the torso part should be tight against your right shoulder and sit between your breasts.
- If being pregnant has left you tired, be aware that driving with fatigue increases your accident risk.
- If being pregnant means you feel sick at certain times of the day, avoid driving during those times.
Some mothers choose to reduce travelling simply to reduce the risk of being in an accident.
Potential for injuries to a foetus in a car crash
As the mother’s body is restrained but the foetus is not, research by Volvo showed that the main risks are the placenta becoming detached (meaning the baby can’t get enough oxygen), or the head of the baby impacting one of the bones in the mother’s pelvis.