Pregnant women are definitely at a higher risk while behind the wheel, regardless of the stage of their pregnancy. Driving during the first trimester can be risky because of the potential for exhaustion and nausea. Driving during the third trimester is difficult because of the size of the baby and the difficulty in getting into and out of the vehicle. What about the second trimester? Is it safe to drive during the second trimester of pregnancy?
While you are a higher risk while driving pregnant, sometimes there are situations where there is not another alternative. So if you can't have someone give you a ride and you do drive, try to keep a few things in mind while on the road.
Exhaustion: The tiredness that began in the first trimester worsens in the second trimester. This makes a woman’s chances for being in a serious accident almost the same as someone with sleep apnea, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Women should exercise caution when driving, and avoid it unless it is completely necessary.
Drive with Extra Caution: If you’re like most pregnant moms, you can’t just quit driving. Make sure that you’re driving with extra caution, though. Always go the speed limit (don’t speed) and always give yourself extra time when you have to be somewhere.
Minimize Distractions: Distractions coupled with pregnancy-related tiredness can be a recipe for disaster. Avoid using the cell phone, or even talking to passengers when possible. Any distraction can be amplified during this time, leading to a higher chance for an accident.
Pay Attention: It’s natural to find your attention wandering during this stage of pregnancy. Make sure you’re paying close attention to your surroundings, the road, other drivers and everything else.
The risk for pregnant women driving actually drops in the third trimester, but the second trimester is actually the most dangerous time to be on the road.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is It Safe to Drive During the Second Trimester of Pregnancy? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.