Since 2006 pregnant women have been required to wear a seatbelt when traveling, but to be effective it must be properly placed, without gaps and securely fastened to the body.
And how do we know it is being used correctly? The horizontal strap must lie below the abdomen and be adjusted as much as possible to the hip bones, never above the belly. As for the diagonal strap that goes over the shoulder, it has to be supported on the sternum without rubbing the neck.
According to the experts, the proper use of seat belts during pregnancy reduces the number of fatalities and the severity of injuries to both mother and fetus. Placental abruption, bleeding, miscarriage, premature birth, fetal injury and even death are some of the most serious consequences that can occur after an accident.
It is for this reason that it is essential to make proper use of the seatbelt because if it is not used or used incorrectly it causes an increased risk of death for both mother and fetus.
Consequences of travel without a seatbelt or with it incorrectly placed.
The General Management Traffic reminds us what the consequences are when a pregnant woman decides not to use a seat belt or uses it incorrectly:
- Using only the diagonal strap: this causes what is known as "submarine effect" because it causes the body to slide down and be trapped by the dashboard or the front seat.
- The diagonal strap is not placed between the breasts: it can produce serious injury, bruising and trauma in the area.
- With the diagonal strap under the arm: the strap presses on the ribs which can cause serious damage to the liver and spleen.
- With the strap over the abdomen: the consequences of an accident can be a ruptured uterus, placental abruption, etc.
- With the straps loose: if not adjusted properly to the body effectiveness of seat belts is canceled and it is as if they were not used. This looseness can be caused by putting a clothespin, a cushion or your own hand.
Vest for pregnant women traveling by car
The problem with seatbelts for pregnant women is that they are not well adapted to the body; moreover, often unknowingly, they can cause some discomfort, and become dislodged.
There are several solutions on the market to prevent the seatbelt from being positioned incorrectly and thus losing effectiveness. One of these is the Emobikids vest, whose function is to place the seatbelt in the optimum position. The advantage it has over other systems is that it keeps both straps of the seat belt, not just one, in the safest position. This vest can be used in all seats of the vehicle and allows two options for adjusting the lap belt, either in the center or on the sides which makes it easy to use with pants, skirts or dresses.
It is the safest vest for any pregnant woman and this statement is possible because tests have been conducted with the pregnant dummy, MAMA-2B, a dummy that complies with ECE R16 standards and reproduces the anatomy of a pregnant woman.
- It reduces the risk of fetal damage by 53 percent.
- It reduces pelvis acceleration by 37 percent.
- It reduces thorax acceleration by 18 percent.
- It reduces the linear force transmitted to the back by 57 percent.
- It reduces the rotational force (moment) transmitted to the back by 27 percent.
Emobikids is a business initiative (spin-off) of the Fundación Cidaut, located in Valladolid, specializing in research, development, manufacture and marketing of energy efficient products that provide maximum child safety.
In addition to this vest, other devices to increase the safety and comfort of pregnant women such as the cushion with ties that adjusts to the seat and has two side clamps that hold the strap under the abdomen; or the cushion with Isofix attachment hooks which allows their use in all seats and whose function is to position the lower strap in a V between the legs, keeping it under the belly and preventing gaps.
And remember that if you have an accident, however slight, go to the gynecologist.