Design guidelines for pregnant occupant safety

2017-06-30T10:07:04Z (GMT) by Serpil Acar Alix M. Weekes
During pregnancy a woman’s body undergoes a considerable change in size and shape, and this can impact upon her safety during car travel. The two main issues are proper seat belt use and positioning, and steering wheel clearance. A comprehensive analysis of the questionnaire responses by pregnant women and anthropometric measurements demonstrates that the difficulties experienced can be explained by the physical changes and interactions throughout the body during gestation. Analysis of the anthropometry of pregnant women highlights that many pregnant users could easily be excluded from designs inadvertently if the design is based on males or non-pregnant females. Thus incorporation of pregnant women’s anthropometry into automotive design could reduce the exclusion rates and alleviate problems. This paper presents guidelines for the automotive industry generated from experiences and anthropometry of pregnant women, with the aim of improving safety for pregnant car occupants.