In late July this year, Congress passed a resolution naming September as Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. The many reasons for this resolution were noted by Congress and included, that: nearly 1.3 million people in America are coping with such injuries, many of whom served in the armed forces; that motor vehicles accidents are one of the leading causes of such injuries (particularly in children under the age of 18), as well as traumatic brain injuries, and; that these injuries occur nearly every minute in our country. The intention is to increase focus and funding on education and research to continue to improve treatment and cures for these devastating injuries. Part of this resolution was also a commendation of those working in this field.
As a lawyer who has represented many spinal cord injury victims and their families, I am very aware of the devastating impact on all when such an injury occurs. A month dedicated to spinal injury is a great step to bring even more awareness and more importantly, hope. This attention sheds light on the types of injuries involved and the many areas of research and treatment that are progressing in our country and around the world. Not surprisingly, as noted these injuries disproportionately impact children under 18 in motor vehicle accidents. Those touched by spine and brain injuries, should have renewed hope that research continues to vastly improve the lives of those dealing with this challenge.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Association is a phenomenal organization which gathers and maintains the very sobering statistics Congress applied in their resolution and helps victims and their families live better with these injuries. They sponsor support groups for veterans and others and provide information about research and options for those dealing with these injuries, as well as their families. The stunning truth they have noted: that spinal cord injuries occur nearly every minute in the United States, that many of those injuries lead to paralysis and that about 12,000 such injuries happen annually. Victims of spinal injuries have many more options for rehabilitation and are more and more able to adjust to living with this devastating injury due to research and development. It is important that this effort continue, not only through medical devices, but physical rehabilitation which has made great strides in the past decades. Other therapies are being developed as we learn more and more about how the human body responds to such injuries.
So what can we do to support this important awareness month. One very simple step is to raise awareness of distracted driving. As we all know, a developing factor in vehicle accidents is distracted driving. In a recent public service campaign sponsored by AT&T, a woman is talking to her young child who is sitting in the back seat of her vehicle and the mom is looking at her telephone. As she comments about the photo that was posted of the child, we see that they are overwhelmed as their vehicle is in a horrific accident. The film rewinds making it clear that life presents options and moments that we actually have control over and one of them is putting down our phones when we drive.
I urge all readers to spread awareness of the efforts being made in spinal cord injuries. If you have any questions about a spinal injury that may have been caused by the negligence of another person or driver, please feel free to contact us at Scholle Law. We can answer questions and evaluate your situation at no cost to you.