As noted in our prior post, falls are the most common cause of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The other major causes of TBI are motor vehicle crashes and sports injuries. In this post, we take a look at the TBI’s that often occur in vehicle crashes. Although many motor vehicles, particularly passenger vehicles, have more safety features than ever before, passenger cars, motorcycles, bicycles, trucks and buses traverse our roads together and when they collide, very serious crash injuries can occur, including brain injuries. Even in pedestrian accidents which are on the rise, brain injury can occur. Despite air bags, collision warning systems and other advancements in vehicle technologies, serious and fatal accidents continue to be a major health problem in our country.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have published studies involving the impact of all causes, including motor vehicle crashes, in which TBI has become the so-called “silent epidemic.” The CDC has estimated that about 1.7 million TBI’s occur annually. Over 50,000 of these injuries are ultimately fatal. A more chilling statistic is that across the population, motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of TBI about 18 percent, but the highest percentage of TBI fatalities over 30%. The overall cost of these injuries is estimated to be about $60 billion.