A preliminary investigation of road traffic accident rate after severe brain injury

Rita Formisano, Umberto Bivona, Stefano Brunelli, Marco Giustini, Eloise Longo, Franco Taggi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Primary objective: To investigate the road traffic accident rate in patients who have resumed driving after severe brain injury. Research design: A retrospective study conducted by means of telephone interviews. Methods and procedures: The caregivers of 90 patients suffering from severe brain injury were included. All of the patients had sustained severe brain injury and prolonged coma, i.e. lasting for at least 48 hours. The caregivers were interviewed by means of a Questionnaire that investigated several aspects of driving competence after coma and the incidence of road traffic accidents. Main outcomes and results: All patient outcomes were evaluated by means of the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS). The 90 caregivers reported that 29 patients (32%) had resumed driving and that 11 of the 29 (38%) were subsequently involved in road traffic accidents. During the total duration of our patient population risk exposure, we found 11 cases in our study group, against the 4.7 expected cases calculated in the normal population. The relative risk of road traffic accidents in severe brain injury patients versus uninjured individuals was 2.3. Conclusions: Our preliminary data show that a subject who has suffered from severe brain injury and coma lasting for at least 48 hours has a statistically significant higher risk of being involved in a road traffic accident.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-163
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • Car driving
  • Coma
  • Severe brain injury
  • Traffic accidents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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