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How traumatic brain injury victims face driving dangers

Diminished attention and concentration frequently challenge Michigan auto accident victims suffering from TBI

Dangerous driving is an obstacle that many Michigan auto accident victims suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) must overcome.

According to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the doctors and therapists specialize in treating auto accident-related TBI injuries:

“A traumatic brain injury can change a person’s decision making, processing time and ability to react to the world around them. A traumatic brain injury can affect how a person navigates when walking, arranging information, or completing daily living tasks, including driving. Some changes can be subtle, others can be more dramatic, it’s not uncommon for those who experience traumatic brain injury to be unaware that perceptual and processing skills are altered.”

Moreover, preliminary results from studies being conducted on veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are confirming that the effects of traumatic brain injuries can and do interfere with TBI victim’s ability to drive safely.

In January 2012, the New York Times reported:

“[E]rratic driving by returning troops is being identified as a symptom of traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder, or P.T.S.D. … [T]herapists and psychologists have … recently begun to view traumatic brain injuries and P.T.S.D. as factors in prolonging driving problems … [V]eterans who report more severe P.T.S.D. symptoms also tend to report being more aggressive drivers.”

The keys to safe driving for traumatic brain injury victims

Experts on traumatic brain injuries in auto accident victims agree that preventative measures can be taken when a TBI victim’s ability to drive safely is a concern.

The doctors and therapists at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital recommend the following:

1. Michigan auto accident victims suffering from TBI should check with their treating doctors to make sure they have medical clearance to drive.

2. If it is unclear whether a TBI victim is able to drive safely, then the TBI victim should consider undergoing a driving evaluation.

3. If a driving evaluation does not unequivocally clear an auto accident victim suffering from TBI to safely return to driving, then the victim may wish to undergo a driver rehabilitation program.

Help raise money for traumatic brain injury survivors in Michigan – with just one click

As part of Brain Injury Awareness month in March, our attorneys are raising $10,000 for brain injury survivors throughout the state. But we need a little help from the Facebook community.

For every “Like” Michigan Auto Law receives on Facebook, we will donate $1 — up to $10,000 — to the Brain Injury Association of Michigan.

Here’s our Michigan Auto Law Facebook page.

Please consider helping us raise money for people with TBI. Remember, every year 1.7 million Americans will sustain a traumatic brain injury. Car accidents are the second-leading cause.

Related information to protect yourself:

Starting over after a traumatic brain injury

 

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Blog Author Steven M. Gursten
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