In an effort to help prevent traumatic brain injury, Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, New Mexico has devoted some of its top resources to studying them. Using CT scans and complicated models, researchers have concluded that typically a traumatic brain injury occurs within 1 ms of a head hitting a car windshield.
The increased attention at dramatic brain injury is receiving from research institutions is attributed in part to the growing number of US soldiers returning home with such injuries resulting from shock waves sent by explosive devices.
Contrary to popular belief, the research concluded that a substantial impact is not necessary to trigger a traumatic brain injury. Rather the model used for the research at the labs in Albuquerque was based on a head-on car accident impact at a speed of 34 mph.
Although the scientists conceded that the research needs to be modified and improved, they are hopeful that their data will assist in designing safer, more protective windshields and vehicles.