New Mothers Prone to Drowsy, Distracted Driving?

During pregnancy, expecting mothers will often take extra precaution to ensure their personal health and the health of their fetus. Once that child is born, mothers will continue to take necessary steps to protect their newborn from harm. While mothers may take necessary steps in caring for their baby through birth, a new study suggests that mothers may be putting themselves and their infants at risk–from behind the wheel.

A new study that focuses on the relationship between new mother fatigue and drowsy driving indicates that new mothers pose a significant risk to themselves, their passengers, and others on the road. While additional studies will be conducted to qualify the effects of new mother sleeplessness, researchers have already found that many new mothers admit to distraction and fatigue while driving.


Our Charlotte car accidents attorneys are experienced in the investigation of cases involving negligence and fatigued drivers. It is widely accepted that fatigued driving can be dangerous for motorists and others sharing the road. Truck drivers are limited to a number of hours to prevent the dangers of fatigue. National public awareness campaigns have focused on the very severe dangers related to sleepy driving. Some research has indicated that drowsy or fatigued driving can be more dangerous than drinking and driving. In any case involving an accident, an investigation should be performed to determine whether that accident was caused by negligence or distraction.

New mothers are notoriously sleep-deprived. In addition to waking up in the middle of the night to feed newborns, they are rarely on a regular sleep schedule throughout the day. This can make it difficult to manage daily tasks as well as operate a vehicle. Researchers are looking to determine whether the disrupted sleep experienced by new mothers caring for an infant can impact driving abilities. In a preliminary study, they found that mothers who admitted to postpartum fatigue also confessed to making driving errors behind the wheel. This raises safety concerns by public officials and others promoting driver safety.

The new study sheds light on the relationship between new mothers and sleep-deprivation from birth through the first six months. According to research, distraction and lack of concentration affected mothers at many different stages, including the first six weeks, as well as 12, 18, or 24 weeks after birth.

If you are a new mother, remember that you may be distracted and lacking sleep. This can create a feeling of fatigue that could impact your reaction time and driving capabilities. In addition to slow reaction times related to fatigue, mothers also reported being distracted and an inability to concentrate while driving a vehicle. While every mother faces unique challenges after birth, it is important to remember that the lack of sleep and change in lifestyle could affect the ability to drive.

An additional study is following new mothers who have given birth in the past six months. The new participants will be asked about their sleep patterns, tendencies of fatigue and driving capabilities since the birth of their children.

If you were involved in a traffic accident, contact the Charlotte injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965 for a free consultation.

More Blog Entries:
Elderly at High Risk of North Carolina Pedestrian Accidents, Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Blog, April 29, 2013

Pets Pose Distraction Risk for North Carolina Drivers
, Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 3, 2013

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