Motor vehicle collisions (MVAs) are a major cause of concussions. It has been reported that motor vehicle collisions account for 50% of all reported civilian TBIs. Another study reports that 27% of persons involved in moderate to severe car accidents suffer a concussion. A third study reports that 60% of persons who seek legal representation for motor vehicle related injuries have sustained a concussion.
Among all age groups, motor vehicle crashes were the third overall leading cause of TBI-related ED visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of TBI-related deaths in persons 5-25 years of age.
TBIs from motor vehicle accidents tend to produce more severe head injuries than sports concussions.
Motor vehicle related concussions are more likely to be overlooked in comparison to sports-related concussions which are usually witnessed by a number of coaches, fans and other players. While the laws of most states require concussion education and assessment training, very few states impose that same requirement on law enforcement officers who attend the scene of motor vehicle crashes. typically have absolutely no training in concussion recognition and assessment. Law enforcement officers typically have received no training or instruction, and have no practice or procedure guidance as to when they should allow a participant in a motor vehicle collision to drive away from the scene.
Victims of concussion injuries from car accidents typically don’t understand or appreciate the fact that they have sustained a concussion injury. It is common that they will refuse an ambulance when given the option. Even those that go to an emergency room of a hospital are commonly unable to describe their symptoms to the doctor. In many cases, the symptoms have a delayed onset and are not apparent in the ER.