We all spend a lot of time on the road. Whether it’s during the commute to and from work, a trip to the grocery store, or a road trip with friends, driving is a part of our daily lives.

And while we do our best to stay safe, the roads can be a dangerous place. Other drivers can become easily distracted or fail to follow traffic laws. An unexpected accident can change our lives forever.

Catastrophic car accidents can result in equally catastrophic injuries. One of the most devastating kinds of injury you may receive in a severe accident is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These kinds of injuries are the result of external force against the head and can cause serious, temporary or permanent damage to your brain.

Four types of TBI

There are four common types of TBI that every South Dakotan should know:

  • Concussion: Direct impact to the head can cause a concussion, and severe cases of concussion can result in significant brain damage. Concussions are common in car accidents from whiplash or hitting your head hard against a window.
  • Brain penetration: Just as it sounds, a penetrating brain injury is when an object manages to go through the skull. This can occur in catastrophic car accidents when a part of the vehicle strikes a passenger. Penetrating brain injuries can result in critical brain damage and can be fatal.
  • Contusion of the brain: Brain contusions result from direct force against the head but usually lead to bleeding within the brain. When this happens, the contusions can form blood clots that may require surgery or can otherwise become fatal.
  • Axonal brain injury: Axonal injuries are the result of the shaking of the brain, such as when a car rolls over during collision. Due to the rotating of the brain, tears develop on the brain structure that can cause dysfunction to brain functions in speech, memory, and vision.

Any of these brain injuries can cause a life-altering experience. You may face substantial medical costs, a loss of wages from being unable to work, and suffer temporary or permanent damage that can require rehabilitation and months of recovery.

It’s essential to stay safe on the road to avoid accidents with negligent drivers. Your precaution will protect you against the pain and suffering of a traumatic brain injury.