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Return to Driving After Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: Increased Risk of Traffic Accidents and Personal Responsibility

Bivona, Umberto PsyD, PhD; D'Ippolito, Mariagrazia PsyD; Giustini, Marco Epid; Vignally, Pascal MD, PhD; Longo, Eloise PhD; Taggi, Franco PhD; Formisano, Rita MD, PhD

Section Editor(s): Caplan, Bruce PhD, ABPP; Bogner, Jennifer PhD, ABPP

Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: May/June 2012 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p 210–215
doi: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e31822178a9
Focus on Clinical Research and Practice, Part 2

Objective: To determine the frequency of road traffic accidents among individuals who start or resume driving after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to investigate their responsibility for these accidents.

Design: Observational/retrospective study.

Participants: Sixty adults with severe TBI and their caregivers.

Measures: Return to Driving Questionnaire and Glasgow Outcome Scale.

Results: Thirty of the 60 participants started to drive or resumed driving after TBI. Nineteen (63%) of them were involved in traffic accidents, with personal responsibility in 26 of 36 after return to driving. Participants caused a significantly higher number of accidents after TBI than before.

Conclusions: The ability to drive is frequently compromised after severe TBI. Specific rehabilitation of this complex activity should be a main goal of social reintegration programs in this population.

IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia (Drs Bivona, D'Ippolito, and Formisano) and Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Environment and Trauma Unit (Drs Giustini, Vignally, Longo, and Taggi), Rome, Italy.

Corresponding Author: Umberto Bivona, PsyD, PhD, IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.