Traumatic brain injuries are among the most severe and traumatic injuries post motor vehicle accidents. According to the CDC, there are at least 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries every year. Car accidents are the second leading cause of TBIs, right after falls.
How car accidents can result in TBI
TBI in motor vehicle accidents are a result of sudden impact. They are caused by a violent blow to the head which is very common in car accidents. This can come from hitting your head on an object in the car such as the steering wheel, dashboard, window or even free flying object in the car.
Very often when your vehicle strikes another vehicle or object, whiplash can occur. Whiplash occurs when your head is suddenly thrown backwards and then forwards due to force of impact. When this happens, your brain can strike the inside of your skull at high speed, resulting in mild to moderate symptoms of a TBI.
Did you know…
You will continue to move forward at the same rate of speed you were traveling before the impact while your car comes to a sudden stop.
In a side impact collision, your head will be thrown in the direction of the impact. Your head trauma can be different depending upon where your car was struck during a side impact collision
According to the Mayo Clinic, traumatic brain injuries are categorized into three levels which include: mild traumatic brain injury, moderate traumatic brain injury and severe traumatic brain injury. Each of these can include physical symptoms, sensory symptoms and cognitive, behavioral or mental symptoms.
When should you see a doctor:
If you or someone you know has been in a car accident and had a blow to the head, you should seek medical treatment immediately. See one of our doctors today to find out if you’ve had a traumatic brain injury.