Traumatic Brain Injuries in Teen CrashesAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of TBI-related death for 15- to 19-year-olds. From among more than 55,000 teen drivers and their passengers seriously injured each year in 2009 and 2010, 30 percent suffered injuries to the head, including skull fractures and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
What is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?When a brain is exposed to mechanical energy that exceeds its tolerance, injury occurs. This is usually a blow or jolt to the head or body or a penetrating head injury. It can disrupt normal brain function and have serious side effects. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild,” such as a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” such as an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. Overall, the majority of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild TBI.
Read about definitions, types and symptoms of brain injuries and services for families coping with TBI.
How to Prevent Car Crash-related TBISince full recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI) is not always achievable, there may be life-long impact from TBI on teens and their families. The brain is the least likely organ to heal so prevention of TBI is the best medicine.
Prevent the Crash--The First Line of Defense Against TBI
Wear Your Seat Belt -- The Second Line of Defense Against TBI Even with lots of adult-supervised practice and following GDL, crashes may occur. Teen drivers should consistently use their seat belt and make sure all passengers do too to reduce the risk of a head injury in a crash.