Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury commonly sustained in traffic accidents. TBIs can range from mild- such as a concussion1 – to severe,2 which can cause a victim to remain in a coma for an extended period of time or indefinitely. All types of brain injuries can result in impairments with physical, cognitive, and/or emotional functioning. For this reason, many TBI victims must take a hiatus from work or school and others may have irreversible disabilities that completely change the quality and course of their lives.
The following are brief explanations regarding how TBIs can so commonly result from car accidents.
- Direct head trauma – The most common cause of brain injury is direct trauma to part of the head. While your skull exists to protect your delicate brain tissue, an impact can make your brain shift and hit against the inside of the skull, causing damage to tissue. In many situations, a car crash will throw a person’s body forward, backward, or to the side, causing them to hit their head on a steering wheel, dashboard, window, or seat headrest. These can lead to concussions or more severe TBIs.