Pregnant Women and Safety Belts: What Do We Know?

Injuries are a leading cause of death among pregnant women, and motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of hospitalized injuries during pregnancy. The protective effect of safety belts for pregnant women and fetuses has been well documented. Self-reported data from two population-based surveys were used to examine safety belt use among reproductive-aged women and prenatal counseling about safety belts during pregnancy. The prevalence of safety belt use among reproductive-aged women ranged from 70% to 91% across 19 states. The prevalence of counseling about safety belts during pregnancy ranged from 37% to 57%. Younger, non-Hispanic black, and less educated reproductive-aged women were less likely to use seat belts. Pregnant women with these characteristics were more likely than older, non-Hispanic white, and more educated women to receive counseling about safety belt use. Population-based data on safety belt use among pregnant women are needed. Because belt use may change as the pregnancy advances, it should be measured during various stages of pregnancy. Adherence to counseling guidelines is low and should be increased. Provider counseling should be used in combination with effective tools such as legislation and high-visibility law enforcement, and the impact of counseling should be rigorously evaluated.

  • Record URL:
  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved
  • Authors:
    • Beck, Laurie F
    • Shults, Ruth A
    • Gilbert, Brenda Colley
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 2005


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 128-134
  • Monograph Title: Research on Women's Issues in Transportation, Report of a Conference, Volume 2: Technical Papers
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01016533
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309093945
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 31 2006 9:48AM