DoD Brain Injury Experts Give Prevention Tips for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
Timely Advice Focuses on Motor Vehicle Collisions, the Leading Cause of Military Brain Injuries
WASHINGTON -- May 12, 2015: As part of efforts to promote safe driving during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, experts from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center's (DVBIC) A Head for the Future initiative remind drivers to protect their heads while on the road.
Motor vehicle collisions are the most common cause of brain injuries in the military, according to a 2013 Department of Defense Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR). Fatal motor vehicle crashes tend to peak in the warmer months of the year.
"Over 30 percent of brain injuries in the military community come from motor vehicle collisions," said Army Col. Sidney Hinds II, M.D., DVBIC's national director. "Wearing personal protective gear, especially a helmet, and being responsible on the road can reduce instances of serious injury -- particularly to the rider's head."
Motorcycle safety training is mandatory for all DOD personnel. In addition, military personnel are required to wear personal protective equipment, such as long sleeves, eye protection and helmets, even if they are in a "no-helmet" state.
The A Head for the Future initiative offers tips about how service members, veterans and their families can protect their heads in daily activities. Tips for preventing TBIs sustained in motorcycle collisions include:
Always wear your helmet and make sure it fits properly, tightening the strap snug to fit your head.
Passengers should always wear helmets, too.
Drive safely, at or under the designated speed limit.
If there is inclement weather, use other means of transportation.
Never drive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription medication.
Raising awareness about the signs and symptoms of brain injury, educating service members and veterans about ways to be safe during daily activities, and encouraging them to seek treatment helps preserve the health of the nation's military force, Hinds said.
"Moderate to severe brain injuries can be easily diagnosed, but the signs and symptoms of a concussion can be the most difficult TBIs to recognize," said Dr. Scott Livingston, director of education for DVBIC. "It is vital to understand how to detect a brain injury to know when to seek help from a medical professional."
The most common signs and symptoms of brain injury include:
Headache or a sensation of pressure in the head — the most common symptom of TBI
Dizziness, feeling off-balance or the sensation of spinning
No one should return to vigorous physical activity after any type of brain injury, even a concussion, without the evaluation of a trained medical professional, Livingston said.
To access additional information about brain injury prevention and recovery, visit dvbic.dcoe.mil/aheadforthefuture.
About A Head for the Future A Head for the Future, an initiative from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, raises awareness of signs, symptoms and treatment of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and educates the military community about the importance of preventing brain injuries in noncombat settings. Learn more at dvbic.dcoe.mil/aheadforthefuture.
About DVBIC Congress established Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) in 1992 after the first Gulf War in response to the need to treat service members with traumatic brain injury (TBI). DVBIC's staff serves as the Defense Department's primary TBI subject matter experts. DVBIC is part of the U.S. Military Health System and is the TBI operational component of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). Learn more about DVBIC at dvbic.dcoe.mil.
About DCoE The mission of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) is to improve the lives of our nation's service members, veterans and their families by advancing excellence in psychological health and traumatic brain injury prevention and care. DCoE is comprised of three centers: Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) and National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2). Learn more about DCoE at dcoe.mil.