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A NEW YOU

Driving or riding a car during pregnancy can be a bit awkward. Just imagine having to deal with a tight parking situation at a late stage! As your body changes proportions it puts new demands on sitting comfort too. But the safety belt and airbag are of course as crucial as ever.

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Seating & belting

Safety Science

BOTH BUCKLED UP

When driving, make sure to adjust the driver’s seat and steering wheel properly to give you full control of the car. You need to be within comfortable reach of the steering wheel and pedals, yet allowing as much space as possible between the steering wheel and the upper half of your body. It is important that you always wear a safety belt – regardless of where in the car you sit. Equally important is the need to wear it correctly.

Remove bulky clothes to let the safety belt come as close to the body as possible.

Pull the lap belt over the thighs, lying flat under the belly.

Make sure the torso belt is positioned between the breasts. Pull tight.

LINDA LETS US KNOW

Since 2001, researchers at Volvo Car Corporation have been studying the special needs of pregnant women in terms of safety and in-car comfort. As part of this research work, we have developed a unique computer model of a pregnant crash-test dummy. We call her Linda. We use Linda to gain a better understanding of the kinds of injuries pregnant women and their unborn babies can sustain in crashes.

The model contains layer upon layer with detailed information about the uterus, placenta, amniotic fluid and foetus in approximately the 36th week of pregnancy.

The dummy can be positioned in any car model and simulate collisions at different speeds.

Linda has helped Volvo Cars to come to an important conclusion: pregnant women must always wear the safety belt and make sure to wear it correctly.

Volvo Cars has also concluded that pregnant women are better protected in frontal impacts with an airbag in the steering wheel than without.

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Remove bulky clothes to let the safety belt come as close to the body as possible.

Pull the lap belt over the thighs, lying flat under the belly.

Make sure the torso belt is positioned between the breasts. Pull tight.

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SKIP INTRO

The instinct to protect our children is deeply imbedded within us.

It's an instinct, born of love.

In a few minutes this car will travel at a speed of 40 mph (64 km/h)

straight into this solid barrier.

In the car will be two children

One child that is 18 months old, and one child that is 3 years old.

My personal motivation to study this subject, began when

my sister was pregnant and I began asking questions like

How effective is the seatbelt during pregnancy.

How should it be worn and what is the effect on the mother and baby in a crash

This 18 month old child will be a part of our crash test.

It is one of our crash test dummies that has been calibrated to make sure all the data is gathered correctly.

To answer some of these questions we built Linda.

Volvo's first computer model of a pregnant crash test dummy.

The expectation is that in the future

Linda will answer many questions like the one's I've raised.

The test was very successful.

Everything indicates that the children in the car are completely unharmed.

A rear facing child seat in a safe car is the safest way to travel.

Volvo has more than 35 000 accidents registered in its database

and except in one extreme case, no child has been killed in a rear facing safety seat.

But what we know right know is that it is imperative to wear the seatbelt

during pregnancy, at all times and to wear it correctly.

To wear the belt correctly, the torso belt needs to run in between the breasts

and to the side of the abdomen and the lap belt must be as low as possible under the belly,

sitting on the left and right pelvic bones.

Rear facing seats are the safest ones. Children should be facing backwards for as long as possible

at least until they are 3-4 years old

When the child gets too big

it is time to start using a front facing booster seat

The idea is that the seat belt should be fastened over the hips or thighs

rather than over the stomach, and the torso belt should be positioned over the shoulder to keep the child as safe as possible

But what's important to remember is that

it's not only us performing research that is going to safe lives

It's relaying the knowledge we gain from the research today

to parents and insuring that they utilize this knowledge to safe their children's lives

This is what will make a difference

With today's rigorous testing and careful designs

It's never been easier to take responsibility

KNOWLEDGE SAVES LIVES

HEAD-ON COLLISION AT 40 MPH (64 KM/H)

KNOWLEDGE SAFES LIVES

LOTTA: LOTTA JAKOBSSON, Ph.D. RESEARCH MANAGER, VOLVO CARS SAFETY CENTRE

HEAD-ON COLLISION AT 40 MPH (64 KM/H)

BIOMECHANICS ENGINEER VOLVO

LAURA KVARNSTRAND

LOTTA JAKOBSSON, PH.D

SAFETY RESEARCH MANAGER VOLVO