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Los Angeles Motor Vehicle Accident Blog

How lost cognition affects brain injury victims

All of the possible symptoms of a typical traumatic brain injury have the potential to be severely debilitating. But of all the side effects of a TBI, perhaps the most serious and life-changing is reduced cognition. Our ability to think clearly and understand the world around us is one of the most important parts of most people’s self-identity. The sudden loss or reduction of cognition can be devastating.

Cognition is defined as the act of knowing or thinking. Aspects of human cognition include:

2 killed in wrong-way California highway car crash

You are driving on a California highway late one night when you come upon the following scene: a car that has just been hit is completely destroyed. Nearby is a truck, lying crumpled on its side. From the angle it is lying at, it appears the truck had been driving the wrong way.

That is what an eyewitness encountered on State Route 163 in San Diego recently. Tragically, the accident cost the lives of two people. It appears the pickup truck driver was intoxicated, a common cause of wrong-way car crashes. Often, a drunk driver becomes confused while trying to get on the highway, and ends up entering through an exit ramp.

Amputation can cause victims to grieve

An amputation is not a death. Losing a hand, foot, arm or leg is not the same thing as losing a loved one -- or is it? After all, the lost body part has been a part of us our entire lives. It was part of our identity. Besides the obvious disabling effects, an amputation can make induce grief the same way as a death, according to the Amputee Coalition of America.

In fact, an article on the organization’s website says that those who experience an amputation often go through the famous five stages of grief usually associated with mourning a loved one or dear friend. These stages are:

Wrong-way highway accidents the deadliest type of crash

Wrong-way highway accidents are rare, but they are perhaps the most dangerous form of auto crash. In a 2012 report, the National Transportation Safety Board notes that wrong-way collisions make up about 3 percent of accidents on high-speed divided highways. However, they are by far the type of highway crash most likely to cause serious injury and death.

For instance, the report says, the California Department of Transportation found that wrong-way accidents caused 12 times the number of deaths compared with all other accidents on highways with controlled access. Wrong-way accidents were severely dangerous throughout the country. A Michigan study revealed that 0.3 percent of all highway accidents resulted in fatality, but 22 percent of wrong-way crashes during the same study period caused a death.

Study links binge drinking in youth, brain trauma injuries

The human brain is a delicate organ. Any head trauma potentially causes life-altering effects. This is especially true when the victim is a child or teenager, because our brains are still developing at that age.

Thus, anything that increases teens’ vulnerability to brain injury is something to be concerned about. That list includes binge drinking, according to a new scientific study.

What can pedestrians do to protect themselves from car accidents?

Cars run into each other all the time in Los Angeles, but perhaps the most dangerous type of auto accident involves pedestrians. People who get hit by a car while crossing the street, walking on the shoulder or even standing on the sidewalk are at great risk of getting seriously hurt.

The problem is so great that it has drawn the attention of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On its website, the CDC reports that in 2012 alone, 76,000 pedestrians were hurt in incidents with motor vehicles, and 4,743 were killed. Anytime they venture onto the streets, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in an accident than drivers or passengers.

Drunk driving blamed for SUV accident that killed 2

We know our readers are aware that drunk driving is dangerous and not advisable under any circumstances. Still, nearly every day in the U.S. a drunk driver causes serious personal injury to innocent victims, instead of making a responsible decision not to drink or to get a ride home.

In the worst cases, the victims die as a result of their injuries. That is what happened in San Jose recently. A car crash allegedly caused by drinking and driving killed two people.

Brain injuries can cause brain to age faster

Brain injuries can cause long-term damage. Highlighting the threat of long-term damage, a new study found that serious head injuries can cause the brain to prematurely age. 

The researchers studied individuals who had traumatic brain injuries after an auto accident, assaults or falls. They reported that these individuals had "persistent neurological problems" even decades after the injury happened. The researchers scanned the individuals' brains a month after the injury and 46 years later. Their scans were then compared to individuals who had suffered a traumatic brain injury. 

Hands-free cellphone use no safer when driving

The nonprofit National Safety Council calls April Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving continues to be a major safety problem on America’s roads, including here in Los Angeles.

According to the NSC, while many drivers understand that handling their cellphone while driving is dangerous, they believe that using a hands-free device is a safe alternative. The organization cites a survey it conducted, in which 80 percent of respondents said that talking on their phone hands-free is safer than holding the phone up to their ear.

3 common types of shoulder injuries

We will all suffer a shoulder injury in our lifetimes, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Many of these will be relatively minor strains or separations. Others will not be so lucky. They will suffer fractures that affect their ability to move their arm, putting their job, ability to care for themselves and enjoy life in jeopardy.

Perhaps the three most common types of shoulder injuries are fractures, dislocations and soft-tissue injuries.