An estimated 40% to 60% of individuals who experience a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) return to driving. However, little is known about driving behavior post-TBI and how this may be related to demographic, injury, and outcome factors.
A total of 184 participants who experienced moderate to severe TBI were included in this study. Participants completed a telephone survey regarding return to driving and current driving behavior. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze predicted relationships between demographic and injury-related variables with driving exposure and avoidance within 5 years of injury.
The model indicated that participants who were older and female tended to avoid a greater number of challenging everyday driving scenarios. Participants who had more severe injuries and those with poorer performance on cognitive measures at the time of rehabilitation discharge were likely to drive less frequently and over less distances at follow-up, though they did not avoid challenging driving situations.
Young men and those with more severe injuries may require additional attention regarding their driving behavior following TBI.