Motor vehicle collisions (MVAs) are a major cause of mild, moderate, and severe TBIs. 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. Law enforcement officers who attend the scene of motor vehicle crashes are not required that state law to have any training in concussion recognition and assessment. They typically have received no training or instruction, and have been provided with no practice or procedure guidance as to when they should allow a participant in a motor vehicle collision to drive away from the scene. Unlike sports-related concussions where the coaches and trainers have all been required to have concussion assessment training, there is generally no concussion training requirement for law enforcement personnel.
The training of EMT personnel is directed towards keeping the patient alive until the hospital. Many have received little or no training in concussion assessment and awareness. Often, their examination amounts to nothing more than “Are you alright?”, an examination that will hardly ever result in the assessment and/or detection of a concussion.