Prevention of TBI

Because most traumatic brain injuries are caused by motor vehicle and bicycle accidents, primary TBI prevention for these risk factors focuses on taking advantage of the many innovations that have been designed to make driving and riding safer.

Automobile air bags, seatbelts, and infant or child safety seats greatly reduce the risk for serious injury or death in an accident. Despite overwhelming evidence that seatbelts and safety seats save lives, an estimated 26 percent of the population neglects or resists using them, and others use or install them incorrectly.

To prevent or reduce the severity of TBI and other crash-induced trauma, drivers and passengers should always:

  • Wear lap belts and shoulder harnesses.
  • Use properly installed infant and child safety seats. A representative of your local police department or highway patrol can show you the proper method of installation.
  • Avoiding drinking and driving, or driving under the influence of drugs or medications.

Air bags have proven effective in reducing crash-related head injuries. However, air bags deploy with considerable force and should never be used with a rear-facing child safety seat. Children under the age of 12 should always ride in the back seat.

Speed limits and improved road design have reduced traffic-related TBI.

The use of helmets for motorcycle and bicycle riding and other recreational sports can prevent or minimize TBI.

Recent improvements in the design of strollers and shopping carts have helped to reduce the incidence of TBI associated with falls by children.

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

Published: 31 Aug 2001

Last Modified: 08 Oct 2015