The Prevalence of Risky Behaviours in Traffic that can Lead to Traumatic Brain

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A traumatic brain injury is a change in the functioning of the brain or other evidence of brain pathology caused by external forces (BIAA, 2011). There are one million new cases in Europe each year (Mauritz et al., 2011). Every year in Croatia about 8,000 people per one million inhabitants experience a traumatic brain injury, half of whom require hospital treatment, and 5% need medical rehabilitation (Bakran et al., 2015). The groups at risk are the elderly, children under the age of 4, and adolescents and young people between 15 and 29, especially those between 15 and 19 years of age (Payne et al., 2014). The causes of traumatic brain injuries are various. The most common causes are falls and road accidents (CDC, 2019). Traumatic brain injuries are twice as common amongst men (Payne et al., 2014). Thus, men are the group at risk. In Croatia, the clinical assessment classifies the presence and the severity of traumatic brain injury as mild, moderate, and severe (Bakran et al., 2015). The prognosis depends on the nature and the extent of the injury, and the recovery is affected by several factors such as age, the history of previous injuries, and the general health (Payne et al., 2014). The patients with a traumatic brain injury face physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities, behavioural changes, speech-language difficulties, difficulties of verbal and non-verbal communication and swallowing and feeding problems (ASHA, 2020). Following traumatic brain injury, short-term neurologic complications (seizures, hydrocephalus, vascular or cranial nerve injuries, cerebrospinal fluid, tinnitus, organ failure, and polytrauma) and long-term neurologic complications (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia pugilistica, and posttraumatic epilepsy) may occur. In addition, patients may suffer from various psychiatric complications such as agitation, depression, bipolar disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse or dependence, and schizophrenia (Ahmed et al., 2017). Due to the wide range of difficulties, the therapy and rehabilitation of patients with a traumatic brain injury requires a multidisciplinary team and interdisciplinary team cooperation. Traumatic brain injuries are often associated with the use of alcohol and other intoxicants, problematic behaviour, lower socio-economic status, and a lower level of education (Habus, 2013). Car accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries among young people (CDC, 2019). Most traffic accidents are caused by irresponsible, impulsive, and problematic behaviours in traffic. In 2019, the Croatian Ministry of the Interior released the Statistical Review of Basic Safety Indicators and Work Results in 2018. There were 33,402 car accidents in which 317 people died, 2,703 were seriously injured and 11,247 sustained minor injuries. Out of the total of 714,985 traffic violations, the most common were speeding (280,096) and not wearing a seat belt (85,382). There were 4,965 red-light crossings and 5,365 violations of not wearing a crash helmet (according to the Road Traffic Safety Act in Croatia, a crash helmet must be worn by cyclists under the age of 16). There were 39,023 cases of driving under the influence of alcohol (7,263 cases over 1.50 BAC). There were 299 pedestrian errors in traffic, such as non-compliance with traffic lights, not using a marked pedestrian crossing or an underground passage. According to the Statistical Review, traffic safety violations are most common amongst men. Whissell and Bigelow (2003) have reported that men are more willing to take risks in road traffic than women, and Yagil (1998) has reported that women express a more positive evaluation of the content of traffic laws and have a stronger sense of obligation to comply with traffic laws than do men. The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence of some risky behaviours in traffic that can lead to traumatic brain injury and to examine differences according to gender. It is assumed that the most common risky behaviour is failure to wear a crash helmet because it is not penalized for those over 16 years of age. In addition to that, it is expected that this study will show the difference between male and female participants. The male participants will show higher prevalence of risky behaviour compared to women.

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Tatjana PRIZL JAKOVAC, A. D. (2021). The Prevalence of Risky Behaviours in Traffic that can Lead to Traumatic Brain. Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities, 4(1), 01–07. Retrieved from