Even after their symptoms disappear, concussion patients may still have difficulty driving, a small study published in Journal of Neurotrauma suggests. The study included 14 college-age participants who were tested on a driving simulator within 48 hours after they no longer felt the effects of their concussions. Despite feeling like they had recovered from their head injuries, the patients were still likely to drive erratically. At times, their skill levels were similar to driving after drinking, the University of Georgia researchers said.
Concussion research tends to focus on when injured athletes can return to play, and the issue of driving after a concussion has not been investigated, the researchers noted. The study findings suggest that concussion patients’ driving should be restricted at least until symptoms clear, and possibly after that, she said.