Some doctors are heralding a new study that suggests airbags pose no greater risk for pregnant women.
There's long been uncertainty among expectant mothers about the potential dangers of an airbag deploying during a crash, prompting some to even turn off the feature in their vehicles, 6News' Jennifer Carmack reported.
Researchers at the University of Washington studied more than 3,300 non-rollover crashes involving pregnant women sitting in the front seat when the airbag was deployed.
"It actually showed that no there was no increased risk in maternal or perinatal outcome in women that were involved in a car crash where an airbag was deployed," said Dr. Mary Abernathy, a maternal fetal specialist for Clarian Health in Indianapolis.
According to the data, pregnant occupants in vehicles with an airbag were not at increased risk of pregnancy complications such as Cesarean delivery, fetal distress and a low birth weight baby, compared with occupants in vehicles without an airbag.
Carisa Burrows, who is five weeks away from her due date, said she worries constantly when she gets behind the wheel.
"I actually drive slower because I'm afraid. I'm almost not able to fit under the wheel," she said. "I've been hit by (an airbag) before, and they're not fun."
Karrie Theoharis, who is expecting her first child in March, said the study eases her mind a bit, but she's still uneasy.
"It makes me a little bit nervous that I'm at the correct distance from the airbag," she said. "I would still rather have airbags than not."
Abernathy said it's also important for pregnant women to wear their seat belts correctly, across the pelvic bones and below the abdomen.
"The safest place for the unborn child in a car wreck is to be in a mother that is properly wearing her seat belt and has her airbags on," she said.Source