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Are devices which adapt seat belts for pregnant women safe?

Dispositivos para adaptar el cinturón a embarazadas, ¿son seguros?

07/03/2018

Pregnant women are safe to drive for most of the pregnancy as long as their doctor or midwife has not advised against it. There are certain months in which driving carries with it a greater risk for the woman and the fetus, but generally speaking, there is nothing preventing the pregnant woman from leading a normal life, including driving. Apart from the medical advice, the woman herself will be aware of her own condition and any possible limitations she might have. If she does not feel well, or is tired or uncomfortable, the pregnant woman is the best person to judge whether she can drive or not.

As established in the General Traffic Rules, use of a seat belt is obligatory in any car seat, and mothers who are driving must adjust it correctly.  Correctly positioning the seat belt is extremely important for pregnant women: the lap belt should be placed over the groin and below the belly. The upper strap should lie between the breasts and should never be positioned any other way as this would affect the protection this restraint system offers (Take a look at our infographic on this).

The devices to adapt the seat belt for pregnant women are simply securing systems which hold the car seat belt in place. With these devices we can ensure that the seat belt will not slide around during driving and is not positioned on top of the pregnant woman's belly, which would undoubtedly put the mother and the child at great risk in the event of a collision.

Therefore, these devices for the seat belt are not, by themselves, passive car safety systems. They must comply with a minimum set of safety requirements, such as, for example, being approved in accordance with ECE R16 and ECE R14 standards on seat belts and their anchorage to the vehicle. It is also advisable to look for devices that have been approved and reviewed and to purchase brands with good ratings, and not to be influenced by low prices. When it comes to any device associated with driver and passenger safety, the price is irrelevant compared to what they can offer us in terms of protection.

Above all, do not forget to take a look at our decalog on what not to do at the wheel of your car if you are pregnant. These are not prohibitions or anything that could be considered as illegal or infringing the rules of the Road. This is simply advice to help make driving while pregnant as pleasurable as possible and in order to limit or reduce the risks associated with it.

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