A head or traumatic brain injury may be caused when an external force is sufficient enough to cause movement of the brain within the skull or causes the skull to break, thereby inducing a direct injury to the brain. The former is more likely to occur following road traffic accidents, falls, violent acts such as striking or hitting with an iron rod and sports activities.
- A majority of the head injuries (50%) are the result of road traffic accidents involving motorbikes, automobiles and bicycles. Pedestrians are not spared either. Transportation accidents are in fact the leading cause of head injuries in those under 75 years of age. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is to a large extent responsible for such road traffic accidents (50%).
- In persons above the age of 75 years, falls account for a major proportion of head injuries.
- Other less common causes include violence, such as gunshots, firearm assaults, and child abuse. This accounts for approximately 20% of TBIs.
- Sports injuries are responsible for 3% of head injuries.
- Less commonly, conditions such as drowning, cardiac arrest can also lead to head injuries.