America's Military, Motorcycles and Brain Injuries

The military, motorcycles and awareness come together in a new safety campaign highlighting 'Brain Injury Awareness Month' which kicks off in March.

While motorcycles are one of many things organizers are raising awareness about, they make an appearance in a new public service announcement (PSA), ‘Power to Prevent’ from ‘A Head for the Future’ initiative. The video follows a day in the life of a service member who takes precautions to avoid traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The ‘Power to Prevent’ PSA shows how one service member prevents TBI by staying safe during his everyday activities: riding a bike, playing basketball, riding a motorcycle and hanging out with friends. The video also includes tips to help viewers reduce the risk of sustaining a TBI.

But motorcycle safety is an important part of the campaign.

‘The adventure of the ride can include danger,’ explains promotional material from the initiative. ‘In fact, over 30 percent of traumatic brain injuries in the military result from motor vehicle collisions.’

According to recent Department of Defense (DoD) data, since 2000 more than 352,000 service members were diagnosed with TBI, most as a result of injuries in noncombat settings. Falls, motor vehicle collisions, sports-related incidents and training accidents are the most common causes of noncombat-related brain injuries among service members. Experts note, many brain injuries can be prevented simply by wearing protective equipment, knowing your surroundings and avoiding risky behavior, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The Department of Defense TBI awareness initiative is also highlighting resources and the personal stories of TBI survivors throughout the month as part of a #ThinkAhead social media campaign to inform people about preventing, recognizing and recovering from TBI.

"Through the PSA and our social media campaign, we want the military community to absorb three simple messages for Brain Injury Awareness Month, be safe, know the signs, and get help," said Scott Livingston, director of education at the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC). "The A Head for the Future initiative provides a variety of resources, such as compelling video testimonials of TBI survivors and information about recognizing symptoms, to raise awareness of TBI among service members, veterans and their families." 

To complement the PSA, the #ThinkAhead social media campaign on the A Head for the Future Facebook and Twitter pages will feature images submitted by TBI survivors and their supporters. Anyone can download the #ThinkAhead hashtag card to share a personal message about TBI or support for Brain Injury Awareness Month. Those who take a photo holding the card can either submit the photo to A Head for the Future for posting or share the photo with their own social media networks.

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