When Is It Safe to Drive Again?
Every year, more than two million Americans pay a visit to an emergency room because of a head injury, with about one in ten of those being admitted for further treatment. Concussions produce a number of physical changes, including dizziness and vertigo, balance issues, and concentration and memory problems. Many of the consequences of a concussion make getting behind the wheel of a car a risky proposition at best. If you suffer a concussion or other head injury, when should you consider it safe to drive again?
Getting Behind the Wheel After a Head Injury
If you suffer any bump to the head, you should refrain from driving for at least 24-48 hours or until you’re cleared by medical personnel. It doesn’t take a significant impact to cause a concussion. Furthermore, you don’t need a blow to the head to suffer a serious head injury. Whiplash injuries can impair your motor and cognitive skills in ways that making driving a car dangerous:
- Studies show that concussion victims, on average, have a nearly half-second delay in response time to traffic conditions and take an extra 25 feet to stop a car.
- People who have suffered a concussion in the past are more than 30% more likely to veer out of their lane and also have difficulty with sharp curves on the road.
In the aftermath of a head injury, a medical professional typically conducts a neuropsychological exam to determine whether the victim exhibits a lower attention span, slower reaction times, or diminished cognitive processes. This is typically monitored on a regular basis (at least weekly), and concussion sufferers are advised not to drive until cleared by medical personnel.
Contact Us to Set Up an Appointment
At Advantage Healthcare Systems, we have extensive experience working successfully with individuals who suffer a concussion or other type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Call us toll-free at 1-877-487-8289 or fill out the form provided below to schedule an assessment. We offer locations across Texas, including Fort Worth, Dallas, and San Antonio.