Cincinnati Children’s Studying Impact of Concussions on Teen Drivers

Monday, December 01, 2014

Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center are currently studying teenagers who have suffered concussions in order to help doctors determine when teen drivers are ready to get back behind the wheel of a vehicle.

A driving study is currently taking place that uses assessments of eye tracking within a driving simulator to evaluate potential impairments to reaction times following a concussion. 

"This is the only pediatric driving study that I know of that's examining the behavior of concussed patients," said Dr. Adam Kiefer , assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Sports Medicine . "We are looking for novel ways to assess these teens and to allow them to return to the road safely." 

Cincinnati Children's Sports Medicine recently received a grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation to perform the study.  Researchers are testing patients between the ages of 16-19 who have suffered a concussion within 7-10 days. They are comparing them to their peers of the same age who are healthy and driving. 

They will collect the data over the next several months. The research team with expertise in sports medicine, behavioral medicine and neurology will then analyze the results.  

"One of the biggest issues teens and adults face when dealing with concussions is a decreased ability to react quickly to objects in their environment," said Dr. Kiefer. "This can be a major problem, especially during driving, and that's why I think it's important for this type of research to be done." 

About Cincinnati Children's

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S.News & World Report's 2014 Best Children's Hospitals. It is also ranked in the top 10 for all 10 pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children's, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org . Connect on the Cincinnati Children's blog , via Facebook and on Twitter .

Contact Information

Shannon Kettler, 513-636-5218, 513-205-6462 

Danielle Jones, 636-9473, 513-646-9244