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According to a new teen driver safety report released today by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and State Farm®, from among more than 55,000 teen drivers and their passengers seriously injured each year in 2009 and 2010, 30 percent suffered head injuries, including concussion, skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). While the report highlights an impressive decline in teen driver-related fatalities over the past six years, researchers are concerned about the burden of motor vehicle crash-related brain injury on families and the Nation's health care system. Crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens and kill nearly five times as many 15- to 19-year-olds as cancer or poisoning.
"Since full recovery from serious head injuries is often not achievable, there can be a significant life-long impact from these injuries on teens and their families," says Dennis R Durbin, MD, MSCE, lead author of the report and co-scientific director for the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "The brain is the organ that is least able to heal, so prevention is the best medicine."