According to a new report conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, more than 55,000 teenage drivers and their passengers who were seriously injured in auto accidents during 2009 and 2010. Thirty percent of those suffered acute head injuries -- concussions, skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). While there has been a decline in fatalities of teen drivers over the past six years, according to the Centers for Disease Control car crashes remain the leading cause of TBI-related death among 15- to 19-year-olds.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when an injury to the head causes the brain to move back and forth. The damage can be confined to one area of the brain (focal) or involve different areas of the brain (diffuse). The severity of a brain injury can range from a concussion (a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain) to a coma (a deep state of unconsciousness) to death.
A brain injury can result from a closed head injury when the head suddenly and violently hits an object but the object does not break through the skull. Examples include a direct blow (hitting your head on the head rest or windshield during a car accident) and an indirect blow when your head moves rapidly and violently back and forth like in a car crash. This second type of TBI is called countrecoup (involving a blow and counter blow).
After a car accident, it is important that you look for signs of a traumatic brain injury. The symptoms of a TBI depend on the type and severity of the injury. The most common symptoms include:
- Confusion (disorientation) or other thinking problems.
- An inability to remember events around the time of the injury (amnesia).
- Difficulty staying awake or passing out (loss of consciousness).
- Blurry vision.
- Swelling of the scalp. This occurs because of bleeding or swelling under the skin of the skull when the head is hit.
If you or a loved one has these signs after an automobile accident, it is crucial that they be examined by a doctor to rule out a traumatic brain injury. It is better to be safe and rule out a TBI then ignore the signs and have lifelong symptoms.
Drive safely and watch out for those who don't. A few added seconds can save a life.
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those who sustain traumatic brain injuries and other injuries from car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents and other personal injury matters. His Clearwater personal injury law firm - Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes - has cared for clients since 1955. Benefit from their experience by calling Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation with Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes.