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Pregnancy increases car crash risk: study

By John von Radowitz

Being pregnant significantly increases a woman driver's chances of having a serious car crash, research has shown.

During the second month of pregnancy, the risk of being involved in a road accident requiring hospital treatment rose by 42%, a Canadian study of more than 500,000 pregnant women found.

In the three years before getting pregnant, the women had an average 177 crashes per month between them.

The crash rate rose to 252 per month in the second trimester, or middle period, of pregnancy.

Statistically, about one in 50 pregnant women can expect to be involved in a serious car crash while at the wheel, say the scientists writing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The increased crash rate was "almost fully explained" by multiple-vehicle collisions in which the woman had been driving a car.

In their paper, the researchers mention the effects of "baby brain" – a mental "fog" said to be associated with pregnancy – but stop short of linking it directly to a heightened risk of car accidents.

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