As a part of Brain Injury Awareness Week in Geelong, Victoria, the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) has released new statistics that show just how many brain injuries car accidents have caused in the past five years.
According to the Geelong Advertiser, the number of brain injuries stemming from car accidents about tripled in the Geelong area between 2008 and 2013. Gordon Rich-Phillips, minister of the TAC, recently stated that car accidents caused 91 severe head injuries, while 280 people in the Barwon-Western region alone live with some form of head trauma.
Rich-Phillips stated that those with severe injuries will need care for the rest of their lives.
"Those 91 people will need lifetime care from the TAC to help them work towards living independent lives," Mr Rich-Phillips said.
"On average, their medical and support needs will cost more than $2 million over their lifetime. Knowing this many people in the Geelong community need our support is a reminder of why our road safety programs and campaigns exist."
Mr Rich-Phillips pointed out that the head injury rates in sparsely populated areas of Victoria were among the highest rates anywhere in the state. In some places, the number of head trauma victims outstripped figures from suburban Melbourne.
In fiscal 2012-2013 alone, 37 people received an acquired brain injury (ABI) from a car accident, while 13 people suffered this form of trauma in fiscal 2008-2009.
A good cause
Brain Injury Awareness Week is taking place from August 5 until August 16. The city is calling for anyone with personal stories about traffic-related ABI to come forward and talk about the struggles they've gone through, and how they've overcome these issues.
The week will also be a time to recognize and honor those who care for ABI victims, who do so much to ensure head trauma patients can continue living the life they want.
The problem isn't isolated to Victoria either. ABI is affecting Australians everywhere, with disability organisation Karingal estimating 500,000 people have suffered such an injury.
About 75 per cent of these were younger than 65 when the accident occurred, and another 66 per cent suffered the injury before they turned 25.
Anyone who suffered a head injury in a crash may be entitled to car accident compensation, which car accident lawyers can help collect.