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February 2016 Archives

Anti-collision and autobrake systems reduce crashes

By looking at police-reported rear-end crash data from 2010 to 2014 across 22 states, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has determined that if all cars in West Virginia and nationwide had autobrake systems in 2013, there would have been at least 700,000 fewer of those types of incidents. The study found that there was an average reduction in rear-end crashes of around 40 percent in cars with an autobrake system and around 23 percent if the vehicle only had a forward collision warning system.

New research could help TBI victims in West Virginia

According to research published in PLOS One, researchers believe that they have developed a treatment that could minimize the long and short-term damage caused by a traumatic brain injury. A TBI is defined as any blow to the head that could interfere with the brain's normal function. In severe cases, symptoms can last for several months, and a TBI could lead to Alzheimer's.

Traffic deaths rise for the first time in years

Motorists who routinely travel West Virginia's iconic mountain highways may be dismayed to learn that in the first nine months of 2015, U.S. traffic deaths rose after numerous years of improvement. While the number of fatal accidents had dropped a total of 22 percent from 2000 to 2014 and decreased 1.4 percent in 2014 from the prior year, 2015 saw a significant reversal in the trend. In the first nine months of the year, approximately 26,000 people perished in wrecks, which represented an increase of 9.3 percent compared to the number of deaths during the same time frame in 2013.

Possible link between TBIs and Alzheimer's

Some West Virginia residents may be some of the 2 to 5 million throughout the nation who are living with a disability that was caused by a traumatic brain injury. The number of people who are taken to the emergency room after suffering a traumatic brain injury has risen by 70 percent over the past ten years. Depending on the severity of the injury, individuals can be left with severe medical issues.

Laws related to self-driving cars may be relaxing

West Virginia motorists may know that there are a number of companies that are working to create autonomous vehicles, with Google being one of the most prominent. Technologies are increasingly allowing computer systems in cars to handle driving, but organizations seeking to develop this technology have frequently run into problems because laws require a human being as the driver.

Brain injury victims and common TBI myths

West Virginians who have sustained brain injuries may find themselves dealing with some common myths. One of the most common is that all traumatic brain injuries involve bleeding or some form of loss of consciousness. In reality, there are many closed head injuries that do not result in penetration of the skin or skull and do not involve bleeding. Other brain injuries may occur without the victim losing consciousness at all. Even if an injury does not bleed, it can still have serious consequences.

Take it easy after suffering a concussion

West Virginia residents might have noticed that brain injuries have been a hot topic in recent years, with many news stories coming out about NFL players and combat veterans suffering debilitating problems due to head trauma. However, a person doesn't have to be a professional athlete or a soldier to experience a brain injury. Student athletes and car accident victims often suffer concussions, which are mild traumatic brain injuries.

Brain injury victims and increased dementia risk

West Virginians may be interested in findings that concussions increase the risk of dementia in seniors. Approximately 1.7 million Americans experience a minor concussion each year, and 15 percent of those who experience repeated brain injuries experience abnormal brain functioning in the future. Car accidents and contact sports are common causes of concussions and other head injuries. Some research has shown that individuals in their mid-50s who sustain traumatic brain injuries are at an increased risk of developing dementia.

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