Every injury involving the brain should be handled with caution. Nevertheless, not every head injury is so traumatic that it causes permanent damage or loss of life. An example of such an injury are concussions, which are common head injuries that can be on a spectrum from mild to more serious in severity. Because concussions are typically on the lighter-end of brain injuries, individuals who aren’t suffering severe side effects may wonder when it is safe for them to return to their normal activities, even if they feel fully recovered. Here, we want to discuss when a concussion injury victim may safely get behind the wheel following their accident.
What Is a Concussion?
A concussion is considered a mild type of brain injury, according to San Bernardino brain injury lawyers at Hanson & Mouri, and occurs when you suffer a blow to the head or powerful shaking of the head and body. Concussions are commonly caused in car accidents, by playing contact sports, and in slip & fall accidents. They are typically self-diagnosable, as the symptoms are pretty surface level.
- Memory loss
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Coordination complications
- Ringing in the ears
As a rule of thumb, always be sure to see a doctor after a concussion occurs, even if you know it’s only a concussion. A doctor can take some X-rays of your brain, just to ensure that there isn’t anything more serious going on. The longer a brain injury goes undiagnosed, the more serious the consequences. Best to be thorough and seek medical care immediately, regardless of the severity of your symptoms.
Risks Of Driving With A Concussion
If an individual is suffering from any of the side effects of a mild brain injury, it is advised to avoid operating heavy machinery or making important decisions, both of which are necessary when driving a vehicle. Considering that people should only drive when they are feeling sharp both physically and mentally, to drive with a concussion is doing the opposite, and puts the driver and others on the road at risk of an accident. According to the Mayo Clinic, “You may have some symptoms of concussions immediately, and some can occur for days after the injury,” meaning that you are always at risk of an accident while driving up until the point you are fully healed. And the last thing anyone wants to do is to explain to a car accident attorney that they were in an accident because they weren’t fit to drive.
Ways You Can Recover From a Concussion Quickly
The most important thing you can do after a concussion is rest. Getting plenty of sleep and not pushing your body can make a world of difference. Beyond rest, there are some steps that have been shown to help concussion victims. Healthline advises the following recovery tips:
- Reduce your screen time. Eye strain has shown to make concussion symptoms more severe.
- Reduce bright light exposure. In the same vein, eye strain occurs and can make your recovery take longer.
- Drink lots of water. It’s important for your health in general, and can help you through a concussion.
- Eat protein. This is said to help with some of the cognitive symptoms of a concussion.
- Eat vitamin-rich foods. Omega-3’s. Antioxidants, and aminos are going to help you build your brain’s strength.
- Listen to your doctor. They will always advise you most responsibly.
Signs You’re Fit To Get Behind the Wheel After a Concussion
First and foremost, the ultimate sign that you’re in good enough health to drive is permission from your doctor after a follow-up exam. After your vitals have been checked and other tests have been performed, you doctor may either clear you to drive or suggest that you take more time to recover. However, in the case that you don’t have access to a doctor after your injury some indicators that you may be safe to drive include a complete disappearance of concussion-related symptoms, as well as a minimum of 48 hours of rest following the injury, depending on its severity.