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Concussions and Car Accident Risks

Posted on in Personal Injury
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DuPage County auto accident lawyer, car accident risks, concussions and car accidents, car accident injuries, traumatic brain injuryWhen we hear about concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) connected to automobile accidents in DuPage County, we often learn that the traffic collision caused the brain injury. Indeed, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights, motor vehicle crashes are the third-leading cause of TBIs in the country, resulting in about 14 percent of all brain injury deaths each year. But can brain injuries cause car accidents?

According to a recent report from Reuters Health, while we often consider car accidents to be a proximate cause of TBIs, we rarely discuss the situations in which concussions and other brain injuries can produce symptoms that increase a driver’s likelihood of being involved in a collision.

A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that many medical professionals who treat younger athletes for concussion understand that the injury raises the risk of being involved in a car accident, but very few advise their patients against driving. 

Sports Medicine Doctors Emphasize Driving Risks After Sustaining a Concussion

The researchers involved in the study surveyed a large number of physicians who are members of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. Those doctors completed a questionnaire, which asked them about their attitudes regarding driving after sustaining concussion and what they advise their patients. In total, the researchers obtain survey results from 333 different physicians, and each had dealt with at least 12 patients with concussions in the past year.

Of those 333 physicians, 83 percent indicated that concussion places individuals at a greater risk of a car crash. However, only 49 percent of those doctors reported that they usually counsel their patients about driving. In other words, a large majority of physicians believe that concussions can lead to car crashes, but fewer than half of those doctors provide their patients with warning.

Dr. John Lucas IV, the lead author of the study, mentioned that it is likely that concussions impair many important skills that are necessary for driving tasks, including decision making and reaction time. While the team of researchers behind the study believes it needs to conduct more research before drawing conclusions about how patients with concussions should be advised concerning their likely driving risks, Lucas emphasized that, until physicians know more, patients who have been diagnosed with a concussion should find a different means of transportation.

Who is Liable When a Concussion Results in a Car Crash?

Who is responsible when a car accident happens after the driver has been diagnosed with a concussion? As you might imagine, the question is a complicated one. If the driver does not know that she or he is at increased risk of a crash—but the doctor who diagnosed the concussion knows and did not say anything about that increased risk—could the physician be liable?

Generally speaking, drivers have a duty of care to other motorists on the road, and failing to take certain precautions or to behave in a careful manner may result in liability, but you should discuss your case with a Lombard car accident lawyer.

Contact a Lombard Auto Accident Lawyer

If you were injured in a collision caused by another driver, a dedicated DuPage County auto accident lawyer can help with your case. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC for more information about the services we provide to accident victims in the area.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-concussion-driving/doctors-often-skip-discussing-dangers-of-driving-after-concussion-idUSKBN1H61N5

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