Data could help predict crash victims most at risk of brain injury following road traffic accidents 

Research from Imperial College has recently identified how speed, direction, and level of head protection can predict risk of brain injury following road traffic accidents. Traumatic brain injuries are a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Nearly one in three are caused by RTAs. 

A partnership between Imperial College London and TRL has investigated the relationship between TBI and collision. They used parameters such as speed, direction and force of vehicle impact. By studying more than 2000 collisions they have calculated the likelihood of different types of brain injury on British roads. They have also shown for the first time how collision parameters like changes in speed during collisions relate to different types of brain injuries.  

Lead author Claire Baker, PhD researcher at Imperial’s Dyson School of Design Engineering, said: “We looked in detail at which road traffic collisions produce brain injury. We now know which types of collisions lead to the most severe head injuries. This data can inform the emergency response and post-collision care pathways.  

“Data needed to make these predictions are routinely collected in many modern cars. This means that algorithms using this data could quickly assess and relay the likely type and severity of TBI for each crash as it occurs. This will enable emergency operators to deploy the specific type of treatment needed, faster.”  

brain injury following road traffic accidents

How this data will help with brain injury following road traffic accidents 

The findings provide the data to automatically identify collisions that are most likely to cause TBI. This could provide the basis for existing crash notification systems to better predict and communicate the risk of severe injury to emergency services. This could help first responders ensure that patients quickly receive the most appropriate kind of treatment.  

Senior author Professor David Sharp, from Imperial’s Department of Brain Sciences, said: “Road traffic collisions often produce life-threatening brain injuries. Treating patients quickly gives us the best chance of reducing death and disability. Automatically identifying collisions that are likely to lead to severe TBI will improve the efficiency of our treatment.”  

They found that change in speed at impact were good predictors of brain injury, as were the impact direction and the presence of head protection worn by cyclists.  

More must be done to protect vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians. This could include vulnerable road user-friendly vehicle designs and segregated infrastructure for vulnerable road users. 

Pedestrians and cyclists were six times more likely than drivers to suffer moderate and severe brain injury in the UK. The researchers say their work confirms that the best way to reduce the likelihood of TBI is to reduce the speed of collisions. 

If you have suffered brain injury following a road traffic accident, then you may be able to make a claim. Where the victim cannot make a claim themselves, their next of kin can make a claim on their behalf. 

How We Can Help 

Here at The Compensation Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with personal injury claims. This includes brain injury following road traffic accidents. So contact us by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly experts.