Recovering from a concussion? You may be driving like a drunken driver

Traffic in Chicago
Traffic in Chicago on July 17, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

Drivers who think they have recovered from a concussion are likely to drive as erratically as someone driving under the influence of alcohol, a new survey found.

The study, conducted by University of Georgia researchers and recently published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, included 14 college-age participants, all of whom were within 48 hours of no longer feeling the effects of their concussion. Researchers said this is the first study of its kind to look into how a concussion impacts a person’s ability to drive.

“They had less vehicle control while they were doing the driving simulation, and they swerved more within the lane,” Julianne Schmidt, an associate professor in UGA College of Education’s department of kinesiology and lead author of the study, said in a news release. “This is a pretty large indicator of motor vehicle accident risk, and this is at a time point when they are considered recovered.”


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