Pregnant women drive all the time, throughout their pregnancies. However, as the big day approaches, it’s natural to be a little concerned about how safe it is to be behind the wheel. Is it safe to drive while 9 months pregnant?
Legally, you can drive at any stage of pregnancy. There are no laws barring pregnant women from getting behind the wheel. However, it is still safer to either not drive at all or have someone else drive you. If you do decide to drive, just keep a few things in mind:
Doctor Restrictions: It’s really important to follow any restrictions your doctor has placed on you, including driving. Some pregnant women are fine driving throughout the pregnancy, but others may not be due to health considerations. Follow your doctor’s advice.
Adjust the Seat: Modern vehicles have driver front airbags. These inflate very, very quickly and can injure anyone sitting too close. This is an important consideration for women in their last trimester. Make sure you’re sitting as far back from the wheel as possible while still being able to steer and reach the pedals.
Seat Belt Usage: Always, always, always wear your seat belt, even during late pregnancy. Make sure the lap belt sits under your stomach, and the shoulder belt routes over the top of your stomach, across your chest and over the shoulder.
Labor: If you are in labor, do not drive. If you are experiencing contractions, do not drive. Have someone else drive you to the hospital.
Pregnant women can drive at any stage of pregnancy without any extreme trouble. The most important considerations are to make sure that you can safely move far enough away from the steering wheel, and that you don’t drive if your doctor tells you not to do so.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is It Safe to Drive While 9 Months Pregnant? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.