Would you be surprised to learn that one of the most prevalent brain injuries that occur today is brain damage from car accidents? To be precise, car accidents account for approximately 17 percent of all traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in the entire United States. This is second only to slip and fall accidents that cause brain injuries. It is a sad fact but brain damage from car accidents actually leads the nation in all traumatic brain injury fatalities. These statistics may seem very shocking at first, but as soon as you can understand just how often car accidents happen and what makes these kinds of accidents particularly devastating, it may make more sense to you.
The Events of a Car Accident
Let’s do a little visual exercise. Imagine that you are in a car that is traveling on a main road at about 35 miles per hour when suddenly a car shoots out in front of you with no warning. When you are involved in a collision like this, you lose a lot of forward momentum the minute you collide with the other car. The front half of your car will crunch together, largely in part due to the momentum and weight of the rest of your car. If this is what your vehicle is going through, can you imagine now what your body is going through? The collision, if it isn’t fatal, can mean severe damage for your bones in addition to your internal organs. In addition, you may experience brain trauma caused by your heat making contact with this air bag, the steering wheel, the windshield, or any other part of the car.
The Aftermath of a Car Accident
The worst impact that you can take in vehicle accident is if your head ends up hitting the windshield. The brain injury that may occur could be close, which means that the skull doesn’t fracture, or open, meaning that the skull does become fractured. In addition to bruising of the brain, swelling and bleeding of the brain are two of the most common risks of closed brain damage from car accidents. If a person suffering from this kind of injury does not seek immediate medical attention, the injury could end up proving fatal.
Of course, the most common type of injury that is associated with car accidents and brain injuries is a concussion. The Mayo Clinic defines a concussion as “a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary, but can include problems with headache, concentration, memory, judgment, balance and coordination.” Concussions are risky business, because they can not only cause a temporary loss of consciousness, but perhaps even a much more permanent loss of consciousness such as a coma.
Traumatic brain injuries and brain damage from car accidents are extremely complex injuries to understand. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident and have suffered a brain injury, it will be vital for you to seek out continued treatment for that injury.