A study recently published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention explores an interesting question: "Is it possible that a disproportionate number of traffic safety problems may be linked with drivers' brain injuries?"
The study used data from a survey of nearly 4,000 adult Canadians aged 18 to 97. Researchers found that Ontario drivers who reported having experienced traumatic brain injury also reported significantly more incidents of driving aggression or what we commonly call road rage.
For the purpose of the study, driving aggression was defined as threatening to harm another driver.
Drivers who had experienced TBI were also more likely to have been involved in a motor vehicle accident that caused injury to themselves or their passengers.
Dr. Gabriela Ilie, who led the study, said the findings underscore the importance of preventing brain injury and providing the proper rehabilitation and screening services for drivers living with TBI.
The study was investigated by Dr. Robert Mann, who said that while it isn't absolutely certain that a causal relationship exists between hazardous driving behaviours and TBI, the data nonetheless show that many drivers have suffered brain injuries. To improve traffic safety, it is therefore important to understand how head trauma can affect drivers' behaviour.
While driving a motor vehicle is often taken for granted as a simple activity, the truth is that safely navigating the road requires concentration and multiple cognitive processes. As Dr. Ilie put it, "Perhaps the burden of traffic collisions and road rage could be mitigated if we were mindful of the implications associated with a brain injury."
At Gluckstein Lawyers, we are committed to helping TBI survivors get the care and rehabilitation they need to improve their quality of life and navigate the world around them. To learn more, please visit our brain injury overview.
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