A nine-months-pregnant woman survived a car collision in Maryland (MD) only to see her baby born stillborn the next day. The mother was driving a Saturn on July 15, 2011, when the collision occurred at around 11:15 pm, in Towson, Md, CockeysvillePatch.com reported.
A passenger in the Saturn sustained non-life threatening injuries. They were both taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, according to police. The Saturn and a Hyundai collided at Charles Street and Gatehouse Drive in Towson.
"The Hyundai was traveling northbound on Charles Street, approaching Gatehouse Drive. The Saturn was on Gatehouse Drive and was going to make a left-hand-turn to go southbound on Charles Street," Cpl. John Wachter, a Baltimore County Police Department spokesman, said.
As experienced Virginia Beach-based, VA, car and motorcycle accident injury attorneys we are always saddened by the loss of life that occurs on our roads. It's even sadder when a life is taken away before a child is even born into the world. Recently, my colleague John C. wrote about the dangers posed to pregnant women behind the wheel.
The full extent of this problem remains unclear because states are not required to report fetal deaths to the federal fatal accident system. However, researcher Stefan Duma of Virginia Tech said reliable studies indicate 300 to 1,000 fetal deaths occur each year because of car accidents, according to USA Today.
"The biggest danger in a crash is placental abruption -- the placenta tears from the uterine wall, causing bleeding for the mom and cutting off blood supply to the baby. Because there is increased blood flow to that area in pregnancy, there also is much higher risk of hemorrhaging for the mother after a crash," the paper reported.
Research at Virginia Tech and Wake Forest universities to create models that measure how crash forces affect pregnant women and unborn babies, has been funded by the automobile company Ford. Safety experts say pregnant women should wear the lap part of a seat belt low over their pelvis, avoiding the soft belly, and they should sit as far from the steering wheel as possible.
See this video of safe driving tips for pregnant women.
Taking safety precautions cannot always save pregnant women from the irresponsible actions of other drivers. Just this month I reported how on July 7, 2011, an 18-year-old driver drunk driver crashed her car into a tree on Stein Road in Sun, Louisiana (LA), and injured her passengers, including a pregnant woman who was nearly full-term. The injured woman lost her baby, and the at-fault drunk driver could be charged with feticide. The mother could also consider a personal injury claim on behalf of the child she lost.
If you have any questions about being in a car accident while pregnant, see our injured while pregnant resources.