How Common are Traumatic Brain Injuries After a Car Accident?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are very common following car accidents. Motorists not only risk striking their head on the inside of the car, but they can also suffer a TBI due to the kind of violent shaking which also causes whiplash. Consequently, anyone involved in a wreck should be on guard in the coming days and weeks for TBI symptoms and seek medical attention promptly.

Car Accidents Are the Second Leading Cause of TBIs

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Americans suffered roughly 223,050 TBIs in 2018 which required hospitalization. In 2019, there were 60,611 TBI deaths.

How many of these accidents are caused by car wrecks? Based on data from previous years, the CDC found that roughly 1 in 4 hospitalizations for TBIs were caused by car accidents. This was the second leading cause of hospitalization for traumatic brain injuries, behind only unintentional falls, which accounted for almost 1 in 2 hospitalizations.

In short, probably 50,000-60,000 people end up in the hospital with a TBI after a car accident. This is a very large number of victims. Of course, some TBIs are so mild that they don’t require a trip to the hospital. This might be true if you only lightly hit your head on the inside of a car and have only mild symptoms. Nevertheless, the above evidence all points to car accidents as being a major source of brain injury.

Males Are More at Risk for Serious Injury

The CDC also found that males are much more likely to suffer a TBI worthy of hospitalization than females. For example, the risk of hospitalization was twofold higher for males following a car accident.

There might be some understandable reasons for this. For example, young men might drive much more aggressively. The risk for a brain injury increases with speed. Someone going very fast could whip their head back and forth once they crash, increasing the likelihood and severity of a TBI.

Can You Prevent a TBI in a Crash?

This is actually very difficult. No one drives a car with a helmet on, so the head is exposed to some trauma in the event of a collision. And even though cars have airbags, sometimes the bags deploy with so much force they end up causing head trauma.

The best way to avoid a TBI is to avoid an accident in the first place. This means going the speed limit and observing all other traffic rules. Never tailgate or pass illegally, and always yield the right of way. Motorists should also wear a seat belt to minimize any movement after an accident, which can also reduce (though not eliminate) the risk of a TBI.

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Lastly, remember to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Evidence suggests that early treatment improves outcomes. Common symptoms include headache, confusion, impaired movement, loss of coordination, and slurred speech or blurred vision.

Call Our Firm for Assistance

The brain injury attorney at Correll Law Firm has helped many car accident victims obtain compensation following a wreck. Call our Winchester brain injury lawyer today to book a free consultation, 540-535-2005.