Generally speaking, you can drive while pregnant if you’re comfortable and can safely maneuver the vehicle unless your doctor advises otherwise. In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you stop driving for specific medical reasons, but there isn’t a specific timeline or recommendation for women to stop driving during pregnancy. Wearing a seat belt and having a plan for medical emergencies will make driving safer for you and your unborn child.
How late in pregnancy can you travel by car?
You can travel by car throughout your pregnancy unless your healthcare provider recommends otherwise. As for long-distance travel, you should ask your doctor, especially if the trip is during your third trimester or the last month of your pregnancy.
Can I drive during the third trimester of my pregnancy?
If you can safely operate your car, and your doctor hasn’t recommended otherwise, you can continue driving during your third trimester. Consult your healthcare provider if you have specific concerns about driving during your third trimester.
Is it OK to drive long distances while pregnant?
Although there is no specific timeline when pregnant women should stop driving long distances, it may be best to speak to your doctor to determine if longer commutes or road trips are safe. Every pregnancy is different, but you may have less concern about traveling long distances in the first or second trimester. If you have any concerns about traveling or driving, consult your doctor.
If you’re involved in a car accident as a driver or passenger, you should seek medical attention immediately regardless of the impact and perceived severity.
Safe driving tips while pregnant
Seat belts are always recommended and advised during all trimesters of your pregnancy. For pregnant women, the NHTSA specifically recommends placing the shoulder belt on your shoulder but away from your neck. The lap belt should rest below your belly but never over your belly. You should also adjust the driver’s seat to accommodate your growing belly, providing adequate space between you and the steering wheel.
Prepare for medical events
Despite your efforts to plan throughout your 40 weeks of pregnancy, the exact details of your baby’s arrival are still likely to be a surprise. Minimizing your anxiety can help to ease your mind while driving. Consider keeping a packed hospital bag in your car for when you go into labor, and consider carrying any medications, foods, or drinks that you may need in case you start to feel ill from any pregnancy side effects. It’s also a good idea to keep your cellphone, charger, and your doctor’s phone number handy in case an emergency occurs.
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