Ford using 'Empathy Belly' to make safer cars for pregnant women

Ford Empathy Belly

- Eighty-eight percent of pregnant women drive during their entire pregnancy, that's according to a new survey from Ford Motor Company. The auto maker is hoping to learn more about pregnant women, and the challenges they have behind the wheel of a car with "The Empathy Belly."

Most pregnant women are constantly concerned with the precious life growing inside them, and that includes when they're behind the wheel of a vehicle. Ford has developed a suit, so auto makers can learn more about driving while pregnant.

"The Ford engineers put the empathy belly on, they wear it, they move in it, and they use these insights from wearing the belly to help with designs of future vehicles," explains Ford Spokesperson, Alison Ilg.

It's made up of water bags and lead weights and it even constricts your lungs...just like that baby does.

"The suit, once you put it on adds 30 pounds and it impedes mobility, it's not comfortable, which really mimics what it's like to be real life pregnant," adds Ilg.

"The waddle... I remember the waddle," reporter Katie Beasley says. "Just climbing into a car when you're pregnant is a challenge in and of itself."

In a recent survey, 78 percent of people admitted buckling with a bump is hard. "You want to pull it straight out, and you want the bottom to go across your hips, below the baby belly there," describes Ilg.

Ford says, keep your seat upright, adjust your mirrors and move your seat back away from the steering wheel, as far as you can.

"Ford really cares about families, and safety first. It gives a great opportunity for the Ford engineers to know what it's like, to know what the physical limitations are with being pregnant like...how do you move, how do you adjust your seat," Ilg adds.

A few more tips for pregnant from Ford women are: limiting distractions, avoid reaching for things in the car, take off bulky clothing, and since up to 85-percent of women report getting nausea, be prepared, with some peppermints in the front seat.


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes advertiser stories