Concussion Effects on Driving After Symptoms Disappear

Every day we are learning more about the severity of concussions and the importance of concussion management.  Institutions have made concussion prevention a priority and have strengthened return-to-play guidelines to reduce the number of concussions faced by student athletes and improve recovery programs.

A new study from the University of Georgia shows that even after symptoms disappear, a concussion can affect one’s ability to drive a vehicle. Researchers determined that people who suffered a concussion were more likely to drive erratically than those who had not had a concussion. The driving patterns were similar to someone driving under the influence of alcohol.

In the past, most studies have focused on how concussions affect athletes and how long it takes the athletes to return to the playing field. This new research expands beyond student athletes to all who have suffered from a concussion.

Although this is an emerging issue, employers must be concerned if someone who has suffered a concussion is driving on their behalf.  New guidelines need to be created that require employees to report concussions and concussion symptoms, while protecting employee medical rights.