March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in New Jersey and nationwide.
Street Smart NJ partners with the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey and other organizations to raise awareness about distracted driving and other behaviors that contribute to crashes resulting in fatalities and serious injuries — like traumatic brain injuries.
Between 12,000 and 15,000 New Jersey residents sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, according to the Brain Injury Alliance. And 175,000 residents are living with disabilities caused by a traumatic brain injury. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of these injuries behind falls.
Brain injuries can have a range of consequences including impaired vision or speech, trouble balancing, seizures, difficulty processing information and memory loss.
Being a safe driver can help prevent the crashes that lead to these injuries and fatalities. This includes:
- Avoiding distractions when driving. Keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes looking ahead and your focus on what’s in front of you.
- Slowing down for safety. Speeding can cause you to lose control, or prevent you from being able to stop in time to avoid a crash.
- Looking and stopping for people crossing. People crossing in crosswalks with the signal have the right of way and NJ law requires drivers to stop.