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Pregnancy is an exciting and joyful time for many women, but it can also be an anxious one. Particularly during the first few weeks of pregnancy, some women worry about inadvertently taking part in activities that might cause a miscarriage or damage the baby in some way. The good news is that, for most women, normal driving during the first trimester of pregnancy is a safe, low-risk activity. Here we take a look at a few circumstances where you may be better off not driving, as well as consider whether early pregnancy impacts driving ability.

Are there circumstances where driving in early pregnancy isn’t recommended?

As a precaution, we recommend avoiding off-road driving or driving where there is a risk of severe jolts or bumps. Although the baby is well-cushioned inside the uterus, a severe bump, such as one sustained during off-road driving, should be avoided. We also don’t recommend long journeys, or journeys across inhospitable terrain during the early days of pregnancy. Some women experience considerable fatigue during the first few weeks of pregnancy, which can make a long journey an ordeal. In addition, it’s not advisable to risk a breakdown miles from anywhere, in a situation where access to water and shelter may be limited.

What happens if I have an accident?

The majority of motor accidents are minor “fender benders”. These are unlikely to have any negative impact on pregnancy, even if they do leave drivers feeling shaken up and concerned. Particularly in the early days of pregnancy, a woman’s ability to drive isn’t impaired in any way. If anything, mums-to-be tend to take more care than usual on the road. If you are involved in an accident, remember that it’s possible to hire an accident replacement car if the bump wasn’t your fault, ensuring you can still get from a to b until your car is repaired.

If you are concerned about driving during early pregnancy or have a gynaecological history that would suggest additional care is needed during the first few weeks of expecting, we recommend speaking with your healthcare providers for tailored advice and guidance.