The Effects of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on Driving
August 31, 2017
A recent study by JAMA Pediatrics found that young drivers who suffer from ADHD are at greater risk for car accidents than other drivers. According to the study, individuals with ADHD are 36 percent more likely to be involved in a car accident. This can be due to an increased rate of distracted driving. Additionally, the study found that adolescents with ADHD frequently receive their license at a later age than most.
ADHD and How It Affects Drivers
ADHD is a chronic condition that causes impulsive behavior and hyperactivity, while making it difficult for an individual to focus and sustain attention on a single task. Untreated ADHD symptoms can impair a driver to the point where they are nearly as dangerous as intoxicated drivers, according to the nonprofit National Resource Center for ADHD. A particular danger for those who suffer from ADHD is distracted driving, particularly when driving for long stretches. Simple actions done while driving, like talking on a phone, texting, drinking, eating, or even fiddling with the radio are often enough to cause a car accident. Those who suffer from ADHD are more likely to engage in such behaviors while on the road.
Managing ADHD and Driving
ADHD is manageable, and there are several ways that ADHD sufferers and their families can mitigate the dangers that driving with ADHD present. Experts say that there should not be changes made to laws regulating the licensing of adolescents with ADHD, but instead that there should be a focus on education and understanding. Parents should ensure that children with ADHD are emotionally ready before beginning to drive, with strong communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. Additional resources such as driving rehab specialists can also provide aid, helping those with ADHD feel safe and confident while operating their vehicle.
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