It was 2:40 p.m. on Friday, October 7, 2013. Nicole Patton was traveling east on I-20 when the tire on her truck blew out. The blowout caused her truck to flip over and hit another vehicle. Both vehicles crashed into the guard rail.
The other driver suffered serious injuries. Ms. Patton, who was pregnant, was also taken to the hospital. She experienced contractions immediately after the crash, but mother and child were determined to be okay.
Ms. Patton was lucky, this accident occurred the day before researchers at the University of North Carolina released a study showing that car accidents can have an adverse effect on pregnancy.
The study included more than 878,000 women who gave birth in North Carolina between 2001 and 2008. About three percent of the women had been in one or more car crashes during their pregnancy. After one crash, there was an increased risk of preterm birth, still birth and placental abruption. The risk increased with subsequent crashes.
In fact, car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death to pregnant mothers and their unborn children. Each year, about 170,000 expecting mothers are involved in car accidents—around 370 unborn children die. The best way to prevent injury to both the mother and the child is to wear a seat belt.
The North Carolina study found that stillbirth rates were three times higher when the pregnant accident victim did not wear a seat belt. Many pregnant women worry about wearing seat belts, but seat belts are fine when buckled correctly. Seat belts should lie across the lap, not on the belly. Shoulder belts should be worn across the chest.
In Georgia, reckless drivers can be held liable for injuries to a fetus. If you were injured in a car wreck while pregnant, contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer to learn more about your rights. Call Kaufman Law today to schedule a free consultation.