Causes for TBI

The three most common causes of TBI are the following:

  • Motor vehicle, bicycle, or vehicle-pedestrian mishaps (more than 50 percent of all TBIs)
  • Falls (approximately 25 percent)
  • Violence (nearly 20 percent)

Vehicle-related injuries involve people of all ages. Falls are most common among the elderly and the very young. Alcohol and medication use are common contributing factors in falls. Gunshot wounds account for a small proportion of TBIs (10 percent), but a high percentage of related fatalities (44 percent). Nine out of ten people who incur TBI from a firearm die.

Domestic abuse (including shaken baby syndrome) and sports injuries are common causes of TBI. Approximately 3 percent of all hospitalizations for TBI are incurred while playing sports. Most sports-related TBI are relatively minor and therefore go unreported.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Aug 2001

Last Modified: 08 Oct 2015