A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that commonly occurs after an impact to the head, or a whiplash injury to the neck. It can render someone unconscious, and even affect a person’s thoughts and actions. This can include their ability to drive safely.
It is important to recognize the signs of a concussion and to understand the dangers of driving with one. Driving while impaired with a concussion increases the risk of a car wreck, and is dangerous not only for the driver, but also for other drivers on the road.
Common symptoms associated with a concussion include:
- Blurred vision
- Memory problems
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Trouble balancing/loss of coordination
- Slowed reaction time
Symptoms may begin immediately or may take months to develop. Depending on the severity and duration of the symptoms, it may not be safe for those experiencing concussion symptoms to drive, because they may experience slower reaction time, poor physical coordination, poor judgment, and diminished ability to pay attention.
Most Doctors Fail to Warn Patients About Dangers of Driving After a Concussion
A recent study found that most doctors do not warn patients about the dangers of driving after a concussion. Researchers had 333 doctors and members of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine complete an online survey about driving after a concussion, and what they advise their patients. The doctors analyzed had managed at least 12 concussions per year.
According to the study, 83 percent of the doctors said that a concussion puts individuals at increased risk of getting in a car accident. Yet only 49 percent routinely counsel their patients about driving. The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, also revealed that 82 percent of doctors did not implement testing to determine whether individuals were ready to drive, and more than 30 percent said they did not have clear criteria established for determining when a patient is ready to drive after a concussion.
The study’s lead author states that although it is probable that concussions impair skills that are critical to driving, more research needs to be done to determine exactly how concussions affect driving. For now, he and his colleagues have partnered with Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research to examine the effects of concussions on driving. The University is using driving simulators to compare the driving of healthy young adults to those with a concussion.
Until the outcomes of these studies are evaluated, the lead author suggests that driving after a concussion be restricted, and that clinicians should refer patients to a specialist who can provide individualized treatment plans and recommendations.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Victims of All Types of Car Accidents
Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed in car crashes. Many times, the wrecks were preventable and occurred due to someone else’s negligence. If you were injured in a car accident, the experienced Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. may be able to help you obtain compensation. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600.
With six office locations throughout South Carolina, our legal team proudly represents injured victims and their families throughout the state, including those residing in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.