A recent study has found that women in their second trimester of pregnancy are at greater risk for being involved in a car accident.
The study published in the Candian Medical Association Journal on Monday, surveyed women who gave birth in Ontario between April 1, 2006, and March 31, 2011.
The study reported that 507,262 women gave birth during the five-year span. The women accounted for a total of 6,922 motor vehicle crashes as drivers during the 3-year baseline interval, and 757 of the motor vehicle crashes were when the women were in their second trimester of pregnancy.
The risk for being involved in a car accident increased with female drivers in their second trimester by 42 percent, according to the study. During that 3-month period, the rate of emergency room visits because of traffic accidents increased to about 7.7 visits per year per 1,000 women, from about 4.3 visits per year per 1,000 women, according to a statistics released by NPR.
However, the study found that the risk of a car accident decreases in the third trimester of pregnancy and after the baby is born, the rate of car crashes is even lower than it was before pregnancy.
Emergency room doctor Donald Redelmeier lead the study and said it appeared that symptoms of pregnancy were a contributing factor to the increase in car accidents.
"We've known for a long time that pregnancy causes fatigue, insomnia, nausea and stress," Redelmeir told NPR. "What we wondered was how all those factors might contribute to driver error and the possibility of a life-threatening motor vehicles crash ... I was surprised by the magnitude of the effect. ... It's a substantial risk."