Teens Often Get Behind The Wheel Too Soon After A Concussion: Study

The findings of a new study suggest teen drivers often get behind the wheel too soon after suffering a concussion, indicating they may pose an accident risk due to potential visual impairments and neurological deficits which could still surface following a head trauma.

In a report published this month in the Journal of Adolescent Health, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania warn that nearly half of teens who suffered a head injury reported operating a motor vehicle within two weeks after suffering a concussion.

The study involved a review of data from the Minds Matter Concussion Registry, which includes information on adolescents ages 16 to 19 who were diagnosed with a concussion within 28 days of injury, and were seen between January 31, 2017, and August 31, 2018. On average, teens were seen 12 days after being injured, and researchers focused on post-injury driving behaviors among 332 teen drivers.

Did You Know?

AT&T Data Breach Impacts Millions of Customers

More than 73 million customers of AT&T may have had their names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and other information released on the dark web due to a massive AT&T data breach. Lawsuits are being pursued to obtain financial compensation.

Learn More

Overall, 47% of teens who suffered a head injury returned to driving within two weeks of suffering a concussion. Of those who returned to driving, nearly 60% said they were “Driving with No Changes,” which indicates they returned to operating a motor vehicle without taking any precautions as a result of the head trauma..

Other teen drivers who suffered injuries made changes to driving habits, such as limiting the number of trips, limiting the distance they drove, or avoiding driving at night when vision is impaired.

Research indicates teens who suffer concussions may experience symptoms for months following the injury and suffer a lower quality of life. They also face a higher risk of committing suicide.

Of the teens driving without making changes, a doctor assessed them and recommended three-quarters of the teens should have cognitive rest or return to school with accommodations. This indicates they may have needed more time to recuperate before returning to driving.

The data found 28% of teens who returned to driving also returned to exercise. Roughly 11% had returned to playing an organized sport, which can put them at risk for suffering an additional head injury, and nearly 80% had returned to school.

Only 9% of these teens were cleared by doctors to return to full school days. Instead, doctors recommended full rest.

“Many adolescents continued to drive after concussion, despite not yet having returned to exercise or sport,” the study’s authors wrote. “Nine of 10 were advised to return to school with accommodations to begin a gradual increase in cognitive activity, suggesting a gradual increase in driving may be justified.”

Research indicates children who suffer concussions often experience vision, balance and sleep problems. These are all issues that can impair driving and affect decision making. In fact, concussions reduce the blood flow to the brain for days following the injury. It is especially important for teens to receive proper rest following a head injury.

More than 1.9 million children sustain concussions each year and half of those are suffered by teens. Concussion can lead to vision and neurological impairments. They can also affect the ability to assess the visual scene, process environmental risks and engage in complex tasks; all of which can also increase the risk of car crashes.

0 Comments

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Uber Driver Sexual Assaults and Misconduct Reports Must Be Disclosed in Lawsuit Discovery
Uber Driver Sexual Assaults and Misconduct Reports Must Be Disclosed in Lawsuit Discovery (Posted today)

A federal magistrate judge is forcing Uber to hand over potentially hundreds of thousands of incident files involving reports of passengers who suffered sexual misconduct or sexual assault at the hands of the rideshare service's drivers.

Abbott May Remove Infant Formula for Preemies Off the Market Due to Similac NEC Lawsuits
Abbott May Remove Infant Formula for Preemies Off the Market Due to Similac NEC Lawsuits (Posted yesterday)

Abbott Laboratories is considering removing Similac infant formula products designed for preterm babies from the market, as it faces hundreds of lawsuits claiming the products increase the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, which puts newborns at a high risk of permanent injuries and death.

Information About Suboxone Dental Claims To Be Exchanged By Parties in MDL
Information About Suboxone Dental Claims To Be Exchanged By Parties in MDL (Posted 2 days ago)

A federal judge has ordered parties involved in Suboxone dental decay lawsuits to submit proposals for exchanging information that will guide the selection of representative bellwether claims for early test trials.