Car Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, can range from mild to severe. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of TBIs in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that more than 1 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury in car accidents each year. Car accident-related TBIs most commonly result in:

· Loss of consciousness

· A headache

· Confusion

· Ringing in the ears

A person who sustains a TBI in a car accident may not remember what happened before or after the crash. This is a sign of a concussion. In addition, the person might find it difficult to remember events that occurred during the injury or in the weeks that followed. Car accident-related TBIs can also alter consciousness and cause loss of awareness for periods up to 24 hours. [Include citation here.]

In some cases, car accidents may increase a person’s risk for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease in later life. Car accidents are a leading cause of moderate to severe brain injuries in children under age 5 years old.

A child who is involved in a car accident could be seriously injured even if he or she was not driving at the time of the crash. Car seats do not provide protection against concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. Car accidents are the leading cause of brain injuries in children under age 12. Car accidents can also have long-term effects on a child’s learning and behavior.

A car accident that results in a traumatic brain injury may result in millions of dollars worth of medical costs and treatment. In addition, car accident TBIs can leave victims with short- or long-term disabilities that affect their ability to function at home and work.

TBIs caused by an auto accident could require months or years of rehabilitative therapy and medication to help control symptoms such as:

· Seizures

· Physical limitations

· Speech loss or problems

· Emotional problems

· Cognitive problems, such as memory loss Car accident TBIs can also cause emotional and psychological damage. Car accident victims may experience depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or anxiety. Car accident safety tips:

· Always wear a seat belt

· Children should always ride in the back seat of a car

· Maintain a safe following distance between your vehicle and other cars on the road.

Car accidents are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, accounting for 40 percent of all head injuries that lead to hospitalization. Car accident costs from 2000 through 2012 totaled more than $819 billion in lifetime medical and disability compensation. In addition, fatal motor vehicle crashes accounted for $70 billion in lost productivity and other indirect costs during the same time period.

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