Seat Belt Safety for Pregnant Women
If you’re pregnant, make sure you know how to position your seat and wear a seat belt to maximize your safety and the safety of your unborn child.
Read our recommendations and view the instructional diagram version of our seat belt recommendations for pregnant drivers and passengers (PDF 497 KB).
Should I Wear a Seat Belt?
- YES—doctors recommend it. Buckling up through all stages of your pregnancy is the single most effective action you can take to protect yourself and your unborn child in a crash.
- NEVER drive or ride in a car without buckling up first!
What's the Right Way to Wear My Seat Belt?
- The shoulder belt away from your neck (but not off your shoulder) and across your chest (between your breasts), making sure to remove any slack from your seat belt with the lap belt secured below your belly so that it fits snugly across your hips and pelvic bone.
- NEVER place the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back.
- NEVER place lap belt over or on top of your belly.
Should I Adjust My Seat?
- YES—Adjust to a comfortable, upright position
- Keep as much distance as possible between your belly and the steering wheel
- Comfortably reach the steering wheel and pedals
- To minimize the gap between your shoulder and the seat belt, avoid reclining your seat more than necessary.
- Avoid letting your belly touch the steering wheel.
What if My Car or Truck Has Air Bags?
- You still need to wear your seat belt properly.
- Air bags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them.
- Without a seat belt, you could crash into the vehicle interior, other passengers, or be ejected from the vehicle.
Should I Disable My Air Bags?
- NO—Doctors recommend that pregnant women wear seat belts and leave air bags turned on. Seat belts and air bags work together to provide the best protection for you and your unborn child.
What Should I Do if I am Involved in a Crash?
- Seek immediate medical attention, even if you think you are not injured, regardless of whether you’re the driver or passenger.