Are pregnant women safer in motor vehicle accidents?


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11 Scopus citations


Objective: Motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) are a major incidental cause of pregnancy-associated maternal deaths in the US. The goal of this research was to evaluate the incidence, risks, and fetal and maternal outcomes of pregnant women involved in MVAs. In addition, we examined the relationship between the injury severity score (ISS) and car seat location in pregnant and non-pregnant women. Methods: This involved a retrospective cohort study of female patients who were involved in MVAs and hospitalized between the years 2006 and 2013. Data were collected from the Israeli National Trauma Registry. Severity and outcomes of pregnant and non-pregnant women with blunt trauma were compared. Results: In this study, 3794 pregnant and 3441 non-pregnant patients aged 18-40 years were analyzed. The majority of pregnant patients were drivers (n=2515, 67%) as opposed to passengers (n=1279, 33%). Pregnant patients had lower ISS than non-pregnant patients (P<0.001). Out of these pregnant patients, 38 (1%) had adverse maternal-fetal pregnancy outcomes, including (1) placental abruption 0.1% and (2) miscarriage (0.2%). One pregnant patient died (0.03%) compared with 32 (0.93%) of the non-pregnant patients (P<0.0001). A significant negative correlation between gestational age and spontaneous abortion was found (P<0.009). Conclusions: The severity of injury and the mortality rate of pregnant patients involved in MVAs are significantly lower compared with non-pregnant patients. Pregnant drivers had a significantly lower severity of trauma compared with pregnant passengers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-332
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Perinatal Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©2016 by De Gruyter.


  • Blunt trauma
  • injury severity score
  • motor vehicle accidents
  • pregnant women


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