This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Today's safety update comes to you courtesy of a pregnant crash-test dummy. Hi, I'm Dr. Cindy Haines, host of HealthDay TV. In a new study from the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Japanese researchers looked at the effects of different impacts on a crash-test dummy made in the size and shape of a pregnant woman. They found that in crashes without a safety belt where the car hit an object in front of it, the pressure in the dummy's abdomen hit its peak right where the dummy made contact with the steering wheel. In rear-impact crashes without a seatbelt, the dummy moved forward and hit the steering wheel, but this didn't happen with a seatbelt. The researchers quoted earlier studies that found that about 130,000 American women late in pregnancy are involved in traffic accidents each year, and more than 20 percent of pregnant women don't wear their seatbelts. The recommends that pregnant women wear a seatbelt with a lap and shoulder strap. The lap strap should go under the belly, and the shoulder strap should go between the breasts and to the side of the belly. Neither should go directly across the belly. IÕm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading; health news that matters to you.