Brain injury awareness month


March is International Brain Injury Awareness Month and MasterDrive is bringing awareness to the debilitating effect of brain injuries on the families of those who have been seriously injured in a car crash.


The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says a major focus of many road safety experts is on reducing the fatality rates on our roads. “While this is an essential focus, we shouldn’t overlook the importance of people that are left with permanent disabilities following car crashes. The individual can lose their independence and face a completely different life depending on the extent of the brain injury. The rest of their family face many challenges as well, both personally and economically.


“When it comes to protecting yourself and your family from experiencing a tragedy of this magnitude our tips are limited because the main tip is to avoid being in an accident. What we can do is emphasise just how important defensive driving is to prepare you for whatever eventuality you face on the roads. If you are constantly aware of what other drivers are doing your chances of avoiding or reducing the severity of a collision is greatly improved.”


Something else that is important in giving yourself the best chance of preventing brain injury is being informed about safety features when you purchase a vehicle. “Airbags are one of the most important safety features. In particular, curtain airbags are the most effective in protecting your head in a side impact.


“The difficulty is that often curtain airbags are reserved for more expensive vehicles. There are, however, safety features that every car has that can also protect you, as long as you make use of it. For example, seat belts can prevent you from hitting your head on the windscreen or colliding with an airbag at 300km/h. They can also prevent you from being ejected from the vehicle. Safety features are there for a reason, never neglect to use them properly.”


Approximately 89 0000 new cases of head injuries are reported in South Africa each year. Be sure that you do not become one of these statistics by driving defensively at all times and making use of the safety features that your car has to offer.


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