Driving down long stretches of highways snaking around Erie, Los Angeles, and Waltham with friends to another town—or just for the fun of it—is a cherished past-time. Who wouldn’t go on a road trip? But unsafe driving can lead to accidents, which, for an unfortunate few, can mean fractured bones and traumatic brain injury.
Most doctors and brain injury lawyers dealing with motor vehicle crashes are aware that from 2006 to 2010, it caused 56 percent of traumatic brain injury deaths among 5 to 14-year-olds and 47 percent of said deaths for 15 to 25-year-olds. As a teen or young adult, what can you do to avoid becoming part of the statistics?
Don’t Drive in Bad Weather
Driving in bad weather is dangerous for all ages. Ran-off-road crashes increase in percentage in icy, snowy, and wet conditions than dry roads. Teen drivers in particular are susceptible to accidents in bad weather as they simply do not have the experience to deal with sudden changes in road composition.
Even if you’ve aced your driving test, it’s better to gain experience driving on dry roads for the first few months than plow straight ahead through snow. As a young adult, investing in snow chains will help with traction when there’s ice and snow. Keeping your tires at the right PSI and monitoring its conditions will decrease the chances of hydroplaning or loss of traction due to a layer of water between wheels and the road.
Focus on The Black Top, Not The Backseat
Multitasking is useful everywhere except behind the wheel. Distracted driving occurs when your attention is pulled away from the road by visual, physical, or mental distractions. Changing the song playing on your phone, reading a billboard by the side of the road, or thinking about your activities at your destinations are conditions for distracted driving. Usage of mobile phones while driving in particular contributes to distracted driving by a lot—so much so that a leading health organisation published a paper on it.
When you’re behind the driving wheel, your focus should be on the road around you. Tilt your head side to side only when you’re making a turn, overtaking, or ensuring that you’re still on your lane; look back only when parking. Otherwise, you have to focus your gaze ahead to avoid accidents.
Dealing With The Aftermath
If you do unfortunately get into an accident, there are many stories of successful recoveries and settlements across the U.S. Legal claims that people who suffered traumatic brain injuries from motor vehicle accidents will fall under the umbrella of personal injury or premises liability or, if criminal intent is discovered, a separate criminal suit. For serious injuries, the damage award that may be given to you at the end of the trial can help your rehabilitation efforts.
Brain injuries may seem impossible to recover from, but in some cases like young folks Robin Newman or Dylan Williams, patients can rebuild their lives. Even when that’s not the case, there is a huge support system for persons with brain injuries and their careers who live their best lives across the states.