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Traumatic Brain Injuries and Road Rage: Is There a Link?

driver-with-road-rageAccording to a study published in The Journal of Accident Analysis & Prevention, individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are more likely to display incidents of “road rage” when driving.

Such aggressive behavior while behind the wheel of a vehicle can lead to car accidents, property damage, and severe injuries to motorists.

Road rage has also been linked to numerous traffic fatalities. Each year, nearly 1,400 deaths are attributed to reckless driving caused by road rage.

TBI and Road Rage

If someone loses consciousness for more than five minutes, or if they require hospitalization due to a sudden blow to the head, they will likely suffer from TBI. 

It is not uncommon for TBI victims to regain their ability to drive shortly after receiving their head injury. However, many TBI sufferers are unaware their injury could lead to higher incidents of road rage.

Examples of road rage include:

  • Speeding, sudden braking, or excessive tailgating
  • Deliberately cutting in front of another vehicle
  • Following or chasing down another motorist
  • Blowing the horn or flashing vehicle headlights continuously
  • Using threatening language or verbally assaulting another driver or passenger
  • Throwing objects at, or ramming a vehicle into, another driver’s vehicle
  • Confronting other motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians with the intent to cause physical harm
  • Brandishing a gun or using another deadly weapon while driving

During the study, researchers discovered that driving a vehicle actually involves multiple cognitive processes, all of which can be negatively affected by TBI.

The Purpose of the Study

The primary purpose of the study was to determine if a relationship exists between TBI and aggressive driving.

Because a substantial number of drivers have suffered from TBI at some point in their lives, the study’s findings could pave the way for important roadway safety measures. 

To determine whether or not a TBI victim is fit to drive—thereby potentially lessening incidents of road rage—researchers suggest making driver rehabilitation services a part of all TBI victims’ recovery plan.

If you or someone you love have been injured by another driver’s road rage, contact the experienced and compassionate car accident lawyers at Schmidt Kramer today. We will fight tirelessly to ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.  

Call (717) 888-8888 or fill out our FREE Case Review Form today.