Queensland legislation states that people travelling in a car must wear a seatbelt, that is, unless they have been granted an exemption. Pregnant women must be aware of how to wear a seatbelt when driving or riding in a car.

When used properly, seatbelts save lives and lower the chances of severe injury during car accidents.Depending on the severity of a motor vehicle accident, pregnant women could be at risk of miscarriage, preterm labour and other serious complications.

In fact, the more injuries a mother experiences during a car accident, the greater the risk to her unborn baby. If a pregnant woman is wearing her seat belt properly at the time of the accident, she and her baby will face fewer injuries.

How should you wear your seatbelt?

  • Always wear both the lap and shoulder belt.
  • Buckle the lap strap under your stomach and over your hips.
  • Never place the lap belt across your stomach. Rest the shoulder belt between your breasts and off to the side of your stomach.
  • Never place the shoulder belt under your arm.
  • If possible, adjust the shoulder belt height to fit you correctly.
  • Make sure the seat belt fits snugly.

What other ways can you keep safe when driving?

  • Driving can be tiring for anyone. Try to limit driving to no more than 5-6 hours per day. Include rest periods of 10 – 15 minutes for every 60 to 90 minutes of driving.
  • Never turn off the air bags if your car has them. Instead, tilt your car seat and move it as far as possible from the dashboard or steering wheel.
  • If you are in a crash, get treatment right away to protect yourself and your baby.

Call your health provider at once if you have contractions, pain in your belly, or blood or fluid leaking from your vagina.