Research Reports - Crash risk factors related to individuals sustaining and drivers following traumatic brain injuries

Accid Anal Prev. 2012 Nov;49:266-73

Neyens DM, Boyle LN

OBJECTIVE: Some crashes result in drivers experiencing (or sustaining) a
traumatic brain injury (TBI) while other crashes involve drivers that have
already experienced a TBI. The objective of this study is to examine the factors
that influence these two TBI crash groups.
METHODS: Data from the Iowa Department of Public Health's Brain Injury Registry
and Department of Transportation's crash records were linked together and used in
logistic regression models to predict the likelihood of a driver sustaining a TBI
in a crash and those who drive after a TBI.
RESULTS: Between 2001 and 2006, there were 2382 crashes in which an individual
sustained a TBI. As expected, a higher likelihood of sustaining a TBI was
observed for motorcycle drivers who did not wear a helmet and in crashes that
resulted in total or disabling vehicle damage. Focusing specifically on the
post-TBI drivers (and not occupants), 1583 were involved in crashes. These
post-TBI drivers were less likely to wear seatbelts or have passengers in the
vehicle at the time of the crash, and were more likely to crash at night.
Post-TBI drivers were also involved in significantly more multiple crashes (about
14%) when compared to drivers who have not experienced a TBI (about 10%) during
the study period. When controlling for gender, date of injury, and severity of
TBI (using Glasgow Coma Scale), individuals that sustained a TBI when they were
younger were more likely to be involved in multiple crashes.
CONCLUSIONS: Different factors influence the crash likelihood for those that
sustain a TBI in a crash and those that crash following a TBI. In general,
post-TBI drivers have a higher occurrence of multiple crashes and this should be
further explored to guide driver rehabilitation, evaluation, and training.
 

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