Cwmbran, United Kingdom, May 23, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- Girl Motor, the car insurer with a particular interest in women drivers, is studying the results of a three-year study of over half a million pregnant women in Ontario, Canada, which concludes that there is a 42% higher risk of a serious road accident in the second trimester compared to the same women before pregnancy.
The research was carried out by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), which found that the increased risk leads to an extra 75 crashes sending pregnant women to hospital each month in Ontario.
A Girl Motor spokesman said, “The findings are surprising; women may never consider that driving while pregnant carries a higher risk than other activities, but we’d like to raise awareness among women drivers of the need for extra caution at this time."
Lead investigator and senior scientist with ICES, Dr Donald Redelmeier, commented on the findings. “Pregnant women often worry about air flights, scuba diving, hot tubs and other topics in maternal health, yet may overlook that traffic crashes are greater health risks,” he said.
The research did not establish a link between the increase in vehicle crashes during pregnancy and more risky driving behaviour. In fact, pregnant women are generally more conservative in their activity and averse to risk-taking. Rather, physiological changes during a normal pregnancy may contribute to the higher risk of road accidents: fatigue, nausea, distraction and insomnia may increase the risk of driver error.
In obstetrical literature, absentmindedness during pregnancy is often denoted as “baby-brain” and surveys of pregnant women do suggest that around half complain of “sporadic cognitive lapses.” However, there is little clinical evidence to prove any significant relevance.
Girl Motor will not be advising pregnant women to give up driving on the basis of the new findings. “The research shows that that men in the same age group are still at higher risk of a vehicle crash than pregnant women in their second trimester,” their spokesman said. “But we do urge women to be mindful of this new information and to take extra care when driving if they are pregnant.”