Pregnant Singer OK After Car Wreck

03.14.11 Jewel credits her car with keeping her and her baby safe in accident with fire truck.

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Grammy-nominated singer Jewel was in a two-car crash on Friday morning near her home in Stephenville, Texas, several news organizations and celebrity websites reported. According to celebrity website Popeater, a volunteer fire truck en route to a fire struck the passenger side of the songwriter's vehicle as she was driving.

Jewel and her husband, rodeo star Ty Murray, are expecting a baby later this spring.

The star mom-to-be tweeted Friday evening that she and her baby were doing fine after the accident. The next morning, she tweeted, "Just a little sore and banged up-but feeling so blessed this morning." She credits her Cadillac SRX for absorbing the brunt of the damage and keeping her safe. Photos of the accident on TMZ show Jewel's severely damaged silver SUV and the front of the fire truck smashed up.

When accidents like this happen, the question of seat belts comes to mind. We would like to remind all moms-to-be that as your baby bump grows with your pregnancy, please continue wearing your seat belt. In short: Yes, always!

As Crib Notes previously reported, an estimated 800 fetuses die each year in the United States when their mothers are involved in vehicle accidents, according to federal statistics. That's eight times as many babies and children up to age 4 who are killed in crashes.

The biggest danger occurs when the steering wheel strikes a pregnant woman's abdomen, causing the placenta to detach, says Stefan Duma, Ph.D., head of the biomedical engineering department at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburgh, Va.

Here are three ways to protect your baby-to-be, from Duma and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • Move your seat as far as possible. You should maintain at least a 10-inch distance between the center of your chest and the steering wheel. If you're short, talk to your car dealer about installing a pedal extender.
  • Wear your seat belt correctly. The shoulder belt should lie between your breasts and away from your neck. Secure the lap belt below your belly, across your hips and pelvic bone.
  • Don't turn off your airbag. Your airbag is more likely to protect, rather than hurt, both you and your baby in an accident.

—Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor