Heads up

A ccording to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance in Bloomington, Ill., of the more then 55,000 teenage drivers and their passengers who were seriously injured in auto accidents during 2009 and 2010, 30 percent suffered acute head injuries, including concussions, skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

“Since full recovery from serious head injuries is often not achievable, there can be a significant life-long impact from these injuries on teens and their families,” says Dennis R Durbin, M.D., MSCE, lead author of the report and co-scientific director for the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP. “The brain is the organ that is least able to heal, so prevention is the best medicine.”

The survey determined that states with the strictest policies restricting teen driving were the most effective in reducing both brain injuries and fatalities among young motorists. These include Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

— Jim Gorzelany

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