What is a concussion and why does it matter in motorsports?
Plain and simple, a concussion is a brain injury. Concussions affect your ability to pay attention, make timely decisions, and identify hazards. When you think about the environment of races, drivers need to be able to pay attention at all times so that they can identify hazards like a car spinning in front of them, and then make split second decisions to avoid that car. If they cant, they could be a danger to themselves, as well as other drivers on the track with them.
Concussion management in racing is an issue Julia takes personally. Her dad sustained a concussion on the race track when Julia was in high school. She watched her dad struggle with his recovery due to lack of adequate advice on how to heal and return to racing after a concussion. Julia saw her dad's frustration at not being able to race due to his concussive symptoms and wondered if other racers were having similar difficulties. She found other racers who had similar stories to her father, and decided to learn more about how she could help as a physical therapist and athletic trainer. In graduate school she conducted her thesis project on how to safely and effectively return to racing after a concussion to help racers like her dad keep doing what they love.