Road Accidents and ABI
Road Trauma - cars, trucks, motorcycles, drivers, passengers, cyclists, pedestrians, any road user. No-one is immune to road trauma and the effects to the brain which can be caused by a road accident.
This year 27 people have been killed on Tasmania's roads. Six of the deaths were alcohol-related.
About 221 people have been seriously injured in road accidents so far this year.
Road Trauma injuries effect various parts of the body and along with back and neck injuries,the most common are head injuries.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an extremely serious injury that may result from a road accident. Such a brain injury occurs when the external force of a road accident traumatizes the brain. Brain injury may lead to permanent or temporary impairment of the brain's functions. Skull fractures, bruises of the brain (hematoma), and nerve damage are often related to such brain injury.
You do not have to be traveling at a high rate of speed to sustain a brain injury nor do you have to hit your head on an object (steering wheel, windshield) to injure the brain.
Brain injuries are more common in side impact car accidents than in rearend auto accidents. Brain damage in a car accident is often related to the quick acceleration and deceleration of the brain, which causes injury to the point of impact and its opposite point or contrecoup. Diagnosis of a brain injury may be difficult. Concussions are associated with traumatic brain injury as are seizures, headaches, dizziness, lack of concentration, memory loss, depression or anxiety. CT scans and MRI scans are often used to diagnose brain injury.
If a person is driving a car at 80kmh and is struck head-on by another car traveling at the same rate of speed, the person's brain goes from 80kmh to zero in an instant.
The soft tissue of the brain is propelled against the very hard bone of the skull, the blood vessels may tear releasing blood into areas of the brain in an uncontrolled way. This is known as bleeding in the brain.
When the brain is thrown forward and then bounced backward the brain can be torn. Tearing in the brain 'cuts' the wires that make the brain work.
With swelling of the brain there is not extra room in the skull and the pressure begins to build up. This pressure pushes down on the brain and damages structures in the brain. If there is too much pressure, this can stop important structures that control breathing or the heart rate. Sometimes, doctors will install a 'relief valve' (intra-cranial prssure monitor or ICP) to let off excess pressure.
Click on Synpase logo to read more information about ABI
Speed- During the period 1996 to 2005, 563 serious casualties involved excessive speed (either exceeding the speed limit or excessive speed for the conditions), representing 12% of the total number of serious casualties. Serious casualties involving excessive speed comprised significant numbers of young people - 50% were aged between 16 and 25 years. They also predominantly involved males (69%). A significant proportion of these injuries were as a result of run-off-road crashes, and occurred on roads with a speed limit of 100 km/h or 110 km/h.
Many car accident cases involve drink driving or impairment where alcohol is involved. From 1996-2005 420 or 9% of serious casualties involved drink driving. Young road users aged 16-25 years represented 41% of all serious casualties involving alcohol.
It is a mandatory Australian law to wear seat belts in vehicles, and helmets on all forms of cycles and motorbikes. Failure to wear seatbelts or helmets - for the same period (1996-2005), over 430 serious casualties involved drivers or passengers not wearing
Inattention may involve a range of behaviours that compromise a driver’s or rider’s ability to apply their full attention to driving/riding. Serious casualties involving inattention gradually increased over the period 1996-2005. In total, inattention accounted for 623 or 13% of all serious
Click on Tasmanian Government - DIER Department of Infrastructure, Energy & Resources logo for more safety information from the DIER web site
Click on RACT logo for more safety information from the RACT web site
Click on RACT logo to read their Tasmanian Road Safety Strategy 2007 - 2016
Click on the attachment to view RACT’s Roadmap for the (next) Tasmanian Government: Priorities for Infrastructure and Road Safety in Tasmania