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6 Instances When You Shouldn’t Drive While Pregnant

Is it safe to drive during pregnancy? Most of the time, yes — but there are instances when you have to take extra precautions

Don’t Drive When …. You Have Severe Nausea

If your nausea is so bad you can’t get off the bathroom floor, you probably shouldn’t be getting into the driver’s seat.  Barfing while in the car can be unpleasant but barfing while driving is pretty complicated, especially when you consider that nausea often comes with dizziness and light-headedness, which are just two more no-no’s for driving while pregnant.

Don’t Drive When …. You Can’t Get Into A Safe Seating Position

If you have to push your seat back from the steering wheel so much you can’t reach the brake pedal; or you need to tuck the shoulder belt behind you because it’s too tight across your newly endowed chest etc.

Whatever the accommodation you’re making, if your pregnancy is forcing you to drive in an unsafe position, you need to quit — at least until you can go back to sitting the way you’re supposed to.

Doing anything else increases your risk for traffic accidents, not to mention bodily injury with even normal driving, like if you need to make a sudden stop.

Don’t Drive When …. You Can’t Make Frequent Stops

Speaking of sudden stops, don’t get in the car if you won’t be able to schedule a few breaks along the way to your destination.

When you’re pregnant, you’re at a higher risk for something called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that often starts in the leg and can move up to your lungs, causing severe and potentially fatal consequences.

The best way to avoid a serious blood clot while driving is by doing everything possible to keep that blood flowing, and that means lots of breaks to walk and stretch. Also, you’ll need to stay hydrated, which means lots of loo breaks!

4. Don’t drive when… your pregnancy limits your movement 

If you can’t turn around to see your blind spot, you’re going to have a problem which could compromise your safety.

When your belly is enormous, your back pain is raging, or you’re just too stiff and awkward to check your mirrors or rotate your upper body from side to side while driving, you should opt not to drive at all.

5. Don’t drive when… you can’t pay extra-close attention to the road

Everybody everywhere should be focusing on the road while driving, and this word of warning rings especially true when you’re pregnant because you’re already more susceptible to distractions thanks to nausea, heartburn, insomnia, aches and pains, stress, anxiety, and pregnancy brain.

And distraction makes you extra vulnerable to human error.

If you don’t trust your ability to drive like you’re pre-pregnant self, its bet to catch a ride with someone else.

Don’t Drive When … You Are In Labour

This might sound like a no-brainer, but try to avoid driving yourself to the hospital when you’re in labour! It’s just not safe: Even the mildest of contractions can escalate and intensify out of the blue, leaving you incapacitated.

Additional driving precautions 

Whether you’re the driver or the passenger, getting in a car during pregnancy usually won’t harm you. You should still take some basic precautions, though, to keep yourself extra safe on the road.

  • Bring snacks and drinks

Pregnancy hunger is real. You don’t want to be caught far away from home without any way to hydrate and refuel your body with.

If you’re still experiencing morning sickness, keep crackers, ginger ale, and mints — or whatever your personal nausea remedy is — in your car, as well as a stash of plastic shopping bags, tissues, and disinfecting wipes to handle any sudden-onset of the vomits.

  • Turn off your cell phone (and any other sources of distraction)

Your pregnant brain is already all over the place — you don’t need anything else taking your attention off the road. Silence those texts and calls until you reach your destination.

  • Always see your doctor after any traffic accident

No matter how minor the fender bender or how fine you feel afterward, call your OB-GYN or midwife and ask to be seen for an exam, just to be sure. The best-case scenario is that this ends up feeling unnecessary — but we doubt you’ll regret getting that peace of mind.

There are situations when you should let someone else get behind the wheel or skip the drive altogether. But these aren’t the norm: If you can comfortably and safely sit in the driver’s seat without worrying about distractions, sickness, or limited movement, you’re set to keep driving well into your pregnancy.

Tips To Help Your Aging Parents Drive Safely For Longer

Aging brings new medications, vision decline, slower reaction times and reduced hearing — all of which can pose challenges when you get behind the wheel.

Getting older comes with both positive and less-than-positive changes. On the one hand, you have more time to do the things you love in retirement. 

The following safe driving tips can help you stay safe on the road.

1. Get Your Hearing and Eyesight Checked Regularly

Many people experience impaired hearing and vision problems, such as cataracts or glaucoma, as they get older. This can make it difficult to drive at night or to hear the sounds of approaching traffic. To ensure your senses are functioning as they should, ask your doctor how often you should schedule vision and hearing tests — then follow up on those appointments in a timely manner.   

2. Talk with Your Medical Provider

When you experience changes to your health or start taking new medications, it’s important to discuss side effects with your healthcare provider. Some medications may have side effects that can impair your ability to drive, like increased drowsiness, sensitivity to light and dizziness.

3. Avoid Distractions

No matter your age, avoiding distractions while behind the wheel is a smart decision for everyone. Practice safe driving practices like putting your phone away or turning on the do not disturb function, lowering the volume on the radio, avoiding eating while driving. Rather, do all these things, including adjustments to the vehicle’s mirror and seat settings, before hitting the road.

4. Limit Driving at Night or During Inclement Weather

Driving in low-visibility conditions, like when it’s dark outside or during heavy rain or fog can be dangerous. If possible, try to drive during the daylight and in good weather conditions whenever possible.

5. Choose Routes Carefully

Try to avoid higher-speed roadways like main roads and highways. It’s also good to limit routes that call for making turns onto busy roads. If you have a destination you visit with regular frequency, pick a route that you know well and are comfortable driving.

6. Sign Up for Driving Courses

Not only does a defensive driving course offer a refresher on the rules of the road, it also offers you an opportunity to brush up on your driving skills and possibly earn discounts on your auto insurance.  

7. Allow Extra Space

Give yourself and other drivers extra space to allow for more time to brake or change lanes.

8. Pick a Car with Safety Features

When shopping for a car, consider newer vehicles that include features that can help reduce the likelihood of crashes. Look for options like:

  • forward collision warning;
  • automatic crash notifications;
  • parking assist, backup cameras; lane change assist and
  • self-parking and navigation assistance.

While these features can’t guarantee an accident-free driving experience, they are proven to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents .

9. Be Honest About Your Abilities

Every driver is different, and there’s no set age for when you need to hand over the car keys. So how do you know when it’s time to stop driving? Evaluate your skills and be honest about your abilities.

Here are some signs that might indicate your driving is jeopardizing your safety and the safety of others:

  • Frequent “near-misses” that could cause accidents;
  • Inability to control consistent speeds;
  • Difficulty recognizing the distance between cars and other objects;
  • Difficulty switching lanes;
  • Failure to stop or yield at traffic lights;
  • Forgetting to signal; or
  • Getting lost in familiar areas.

10. Ask for Help

When driving becomes difficult, or if you find yourself confused while on the road, ask for help from a trusted friend or family member. Starting this conversation doesn’t mean you have to completely give up driving; it just might mean you no longer drive at night or you ask a relative to drive when you need to travel long distances. You can also research public transit, taxi services, rideshares, or check with local senior centers to see if they offer transportation in your area. 

8 Frequently Asked Questions About Pregnancy Car Safety

Why is it important to wear a seat belt when I travel during pregnancy?

Although your fetus is protected inside your body, you should wear a lap and shoulder belt every time you travel while you are pregnant for the best protection, including in your final weeks of pregnancy. You and your fetus are much more likely to survive a car accident when you are buckled in.

How should I wear a seat belt while I am pregnant?

When wearing a seat belt, follow these rules:

  • Buckle the lap belt below your belly so that it fits snugly across your hips and pelvic bone.
  • Place the shoulder belt across your chest (between your breasts) and over the mid-portion of your collar bone (away from your neck).
  • Never place the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back.
  • Pull any slack (looseness) out of the belt.
  • If you are in an accident, seek medical attention right away, even if you are not injured.

What should I know about air bags when I travel in a car?

Follow these tips if your car has air bags:

  • Keep 10 inches between the steering wheel and your breastbone.
  • If the car has an air bag “on/off” switch, check to be sure it is turned to “on.”
  • As your belly grows, you may not be able to keep as much space between you and the steering wheel. If the car has a tilt steering wheel, make sure it is angled toward your breastbone, not your belly or head.

If I am pregnant, when should I buy a car seat for my baby?

You cannot take your newborn home from the hospital without a car seat. Plan to have the car seat at least 3 weeks before your due date so you will have time to install it correctly and learn how to buckle the baby in safely.

Where should child car seats be installed in the car?

All car seats for children should be used in the back seat of the car—never in the front seat. Air bags in the front seat can cause serious injury to children. Until they reach age 13 years, children should always ride in the back seat.

What types of car seats are available for infants, toddlers, and school-aged children?j

  1. Rear-facing car seat—In a rear-facing car seat, the baby is turned to face the back windshield of the car. Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight and height allowed by their car seat’s maker.
  2. Forward-facing car seat—A forward-facing car seat faces the front windshield of the car. Toddlers and preschoolers who have outgrown the height and weight limit of the rear-facing seat should use a forward-facing seat.
  3. Booster seat—A booster seat raises and positions your child so that the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belts fit properly. Your child should use a booster seat until the car seat belts fit properly. This usually occurs when the child is between the ages of 8 years and 12 years and is at least 4 feet 9 inches in height.

What should I keep in mind when choosing a car seat?

  • Know whether your car has the LATCH system. LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. Instead of seat belts, special anchors hold the seat in place. If your car and car seat do not have the LATCH system, you will need to use seat belts to install the car seat.
  • Try locking and unlocking the buckle while you are in the store. Try changing the lengths of the straps.
  • Read the labels to find out the seat’s height and weight limits.

What should I know if I am considering buying a used car seat?

  • Do not buy a used car seat if you know it has been in a car crash. Also, used car seats may be missing parts or instructions.
  • Avoid a used car seat that looks old or worn or is missing labels with the model number and maker’s name. Keep in mind that car seats have expiration dates.
  • You can check the expiration date for any car seat on the maker’s web site.

How To Get Rid Of Dog Hair From Your Car

In some households, dogs are part of the family and the kids would never allow you to head out for the weekend without their furry sibling.  But, there is a key downside to taking your pooch anywhere by car and that is pet hair.

9 Road Trip Games To Help You Survive Traveling With The Little Ones

By H&H Admin

Long-distance trips can be tiring and arduous, particularly when some of your passengers are young and restless; but more often than not, playing car games can be the answer and will help you maintain your sanity. 

Road trips with your children don’t have to be difficult ordeals punctuated with a repeated “Are we there yet?” Here are some car game suggestions which might keep your restless passengers entertained long enough for them not to notice the distance you are travelling. 

1. The Grocery Game

The first player is tasked with thinking of an item that can be purchased at a grocery store. Thereafter, all the other passengers must take turns guessing what that item might be by asking a question. Is it something you would find in the frozen food section? Is it edible? No? Guess again!

2. I Spy

This is a well-known game, so it won’t take a lot of instruction to learn how to play. The first person selects something either on the road or in the car without revealing what it is to the rest of the players in the car. Then they must repeat the phrase, “I spy with my little eye something that begins with the letter …” as it relates to the answer.

The other passengers then try to guess what it might be. 

3. Song humming game

Take it in turns to hum your favorite song. This could be a song for a TV show or one from your favorite artist.  The other passengers then take turns guessing the song as fast as possible! Whoever guesses correctly gets to hum the next tune!

4. Family storytime

This game begins with one of the players saying a sentence to begin an imaginary story. This could be something like “There was once an elephant named Tshepo”. The next player then continues with their own sentence, and so the story continues. This is a great way to let the kid’s imaginations run wild and see what they come up with!

5. Fortunately/unfortunately

This continuous story game involves each person adding a phrase one at a time. Each phrase must start with either the word fortunately or unfortunately. The aim is to make the story entertaining and funny story.  Example: Unfortunately Johan’s car broke down at the side of the road… fortunately his friend Mark was driving past… etc.

6. Monotone song lyrics

Say the lyrics of one of your favorite songs but with no tune or melody. The other passengers must try and guess the song from the words alone!

7. In my suitcase

The first player states the phrase “I’m going on holiday and I’m taking …” followed by an item (toothbrush, suitcase, etc). The next person must repeat the phrase, including the previous person’s item, then add an item of their own.  Keep going and see how many letters you can get through before someone forgets!

8. The quiet game

This is a great game when attempting to restore order in a car full of squabbling siblings. An adult simply challenges the kids by asking ‘Who can stay quiet the longest?’ Just like that, your car will become a haven of peace and tranquillity.  Be warned, the silence may not last for as long as you might like it to in which case offering a ‘reward’ may be a worthwhile consideration.

9. Sing-a-long

The first player starts by singing a few lines of a song. The next person jumps in to connect the lyrics with another song starting with the last word from the previous player’s song, i.e., the last lyrics of player one’s song should be the first lyrics for player two sings). Here’s an example: “Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you….” “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy…” “Happy birthday to you!”

We are confident one or more of these games will help maintain order as you make your way to your destination and make your travels more pleasant and memorable.

Proper Use of Child Car Seats

Using the correct child car seat sizes for the age and weight of the child is crucial. Harnessing an infant in a seat that is too big is dangerous, as is trying to fit a child into a seat that they have outgrown.

Jaguar Land Rover offers complimentary safety checks to customers

With the relaxation of national lockdown levels many South African holiday seekers will be hitting the road for the festive season. Jaguar Land Rover is offering some appetising deals for drivers of its vehicles ahead of any planned road trips.

Any Jaguar or Land Rover driver in South Africa is welcome to schedule complimentary vehicle safety checks and premium valet services at any dealer nationwide. This service is available for all Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, whether they are within their valid Care Plan and warranty periods or not. Customers can contact any dealer at their convenience to schedule their free safety checks between 11 October and 31 December 2021.

For vehicles with valid Jaguar or Land Rover Care Plans, which come as standard on all new vehicles for a period of 5 years or 100,000km, customers will receive a R500 discount to use on any available branded goods or accessories.

Customers with expired Care Plans and warranties are included in the offer, with R1,000 discounts to be used towards parts and/or labour on any necessary maintenance or repairs on the day of bookings.

The complimentary safety checks, valet services and vouchers may only be redeemed once per vehicle, and bookings at any dealer must be made in advance.

Caution: School children ahead

Since school has resumed for most students, the Road Safety Partnership South Africa (RSP-SA) is cautioning drivers to expect more challenges on the road.

Since school has resumed for most students, the Road Safety Partnership South Africa (RSP-SA) is cautioning drivers to expect more challenges on the road. From more children crossing the street unexpectedly to transporters who have been off the road for so me time, drivers need to be prepared for whatever challenges this may create for them.

You can expect roads to be busier and if you were previously tempted to take advantage of the emptier roads, rather slow down and be more cautious

The RSP-SA says the first challenge to anticipate is increased traffic.

“Many drivers have become accustomed to open roads and less obstacles to be careful of. Now, however, with both an increase in school transportation and employees returning to work under level three, think twice about racing down streets that have been quiet, particularly those in close vicinity to schools.

“Drivers who have not been on the road for some time may also still be recalling their driving muscle memory. Their reflexes, if someone suddenly cuts them off or they need to swerve out of the way, will therefore be slower. In general, you can expect roads to be busier and if you were previously tempted to take advantage of the emptier roads, rather slow down and be more cautious.”

As roads get busier as students return to school, keep the theme of the UN Global Road Safety Week in mind. “This year the initiative called for the lowering of speed limits in areas that are congested with both vehicles and people. The #Love30 campaign promoted the lowering of speed limits to 30km/h in these areas.

Make it your own commitment to lower driving speeds to make the roads safer for both young pedestrians and other vehicles

“Even if the campaign is not successful in lowering speed limits to 30km/h, not just around schools but in any area that may have more school children after school, make it your own commitment to lower driving speeds to make the roads safer for both young pedestrians and other vehicles.”

As you drive in the coming weeks spare a thought for the young road users. “Around 1 000 children, both as pedestrians and occupants, are killed on South African roads each year while another 45 000 are injured. Ensure you do not add to this figure by not being careful in areas where children are likely to be,” says the RSP-SA.

Courtesy of MasterDrive