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Online ISSN 1973-9095
RETURN TO DRIVING AFTER TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY - Part I
Guest Editors: Bruno Gradenigo, Anna Mazzucchi
Dimarco F., Cantagallo A.
From the Dipartimento di Riabilitazione e Lungodegenza Post-Acuzie Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Ferrara, Italy
Background. Brain lesions are among the main causes of disability among the young. Of all the day-to-day activities which give greater autonomy back to patients after a traumatic brain injury (TBI), driving a motorcar again is one of the principal objectives. Driving is one of our most complex activities, due to the integration of cognitive, behavioural, sensory and motor functions. Methods. There were two aims to the present study: first of all, to see how many patients took up driving again; and, secondly, to test driving skills before and after serious TBI in a sample of 103 patients, via a structured questionnaire given at least twelve months after their accident. The authors therefore carried out an accurate and complete investigation into these functions in order to check whether patients are able to take up driving again.
Results. Within the sample, forty-five had a driving licence, of whom thirty-four (33%) took up driving again. There was no significant change in driving offences and skills, the only exception being that, immediately after the TBI, patients preferred driving during daylight hours.
Conclusions. Fortunately, the overall number of traffic accidents appears to be significantly less than it was before the TBI incidents.