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Concussions Common On The Road As Well As On The Field

Typically when we think of concussions, we think of contact sports like football or hockey. This is especially true after thousands of former NFL football players recently sued the league after suffering traumatic brain injuries. But as a recent incident involving race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. shows, car accidents can cause brain injuries as well.

Last week, it was announced that the famed racer would not be participating in two upcoming Nascar races because he suffered a concussion during an accident while racing at Talladega on Oct. 7. After the announcement, Forbes reported that head injuries are quite common on the track as well as on the roads.

The Forbes article said that drivers don’t need to be traveling at speeds of 200 mph to be at risk of suffering head injuries. The article reported that more than 400,000 drivers suffer mild to moderate brain injuries — mostly concussions — each year in the United States in car accidents.

Comparably, about 300,000 athletes suffer concussions each year while playing sports such as football, soccer or hockey. The Forbes article cited a study indicating that athletes playing high school girls’ soccer actually experienced more concussions than college football players during the 2005-06 school year.

No matter how a brain injury was sustained, the most important thing is to seek treatment right away. Sometimes it’s hard to know how severe the injury is until a medical professional conducts an examination, and treatment during this time can be crucial. Additionally, subsequent head injuries can lead to more-serious consequences.

Source: Forbes, “Dale Earnhardt Shows Concussions Not Just An NFL Problem,” Kurt Badenhausen, Oct. 11, 2012