Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. This kind of injury is a common result of traffic accidents, and individuals who live in areas with poor traffic safety standards are particularly at risk. According to the Global Status Report on Road Safety, an alarming 93% of the world’s population lives in areas without adequate traffic safety standards.
To better understand the circumstances that lead to traffic-related TBI, a group of researchers in Indonesia collected hospital data from patients who were injured in traffic accidents. They found that more than 65% of patients with traffic-related TBI were involved in motorcycle accidents and that most of these patients were young males. These patients experienced a relatively high mortality rate (29.2%) compared to other mechanisms of TBI.
In high-population, low-income areas, relaxed traffic safety standards pose serious problems for drivers and pedestrians, who often must navigate in dangerously crowded, unregulated driving conditions. Though most traffic-related TBI is of mild severity, motorcyclists – particularly young men – are at high risk for injury and mortality after road accidents. Clinicians and drivers alike should be aware of the medical risks posed by inadequate road safety standards, and all are advised to exercise caution when operating a motorcycle in poor traffic conditions.
Faried A, Abdulgafoor B, Sendjaja A, et al. Characteristics of Moderate and Severe Traumatic Brain Injury of Motorcycle Crashes in Bandung, Indonesia. World Neurosurgery. (December 2016).