The driver of a pickup truck crossed the center line of a four-lane road in southern Maryland over the weekend, triggering a massive fatal accident involving the truck, a van and another car. Five were killed in the multi-vehicle crash, including the unborn child of a pregnant woman who survived the crash.
Specific details regarding the woman's pregnancy have not been disclosed, other than that it was a late-term pregnancy.
The van involved in the fatal accident was carrying a number of people on their way to an evening worship service. At least 13 people were treated for varying degrees of injury.
At Risk: Riding While Pregnant
Traveling by car is generally seen as a necessity - it's a part of just about everyone's day in our area of the U.S. But, something so commonplace, so accepted as normal, can pose serious dangers to pregnant women and their unborn children. If involved in a vehicle accident, those dangers can include placental abruption, rupture or laceration of the uterus and sadly, as in this recent wreck, direct injury or death to the fetus.
Another potential negative outcome of a motor vehicle accident involving a pregnant mother is premature delivery. The crash may trigger a series of events that puts the mother into pre-term labor or an emergency c-section may be necessitated by injuries sustained during the accident.
What Should Pregnant Drivers and Passengers Do?
It's unreasonable to think that expectant mothers will simply wait at home while their child develops and until he or she is ready to greet the world. Expectant moms are working moms, single moms, moms of more kids, and many other scenarios.
Pregnant mothers should wear a seatbelt, every time they are in the car. Any time an expectant mom is involved in a crash, regardless of how minor the crash or how "fine" she may feel, she should be examined by a medical professional. Even without visible signs of injury to the mother, the crash may have caused issues for the child that a medical professional may be able to assist with if discovered quickly.