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Drivers With ADHD May Be More Likely To Cause An Auto Accident

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2018 | Car Accidents

If your teen driver has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it is extremely important to ensure that they are taking the right medicine to treat the condition in order to avoid a Tampa auto accident. Without managing the symptoms of ADHD, adolescents could be much more likely to cause an auto accident than other teen drivers who do not have ADHD, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics. An article in CNN discusses the study, and provides more information for families and motorists in West Central Florida who need to recognize the risks surrounding teen driving crashes and ADHD.

Treating ADHD to Decrease the Risk of Car Accidents in the Tampa Bay Area

When the new study came out in JAMA Pediatrics, it reported that adolescents who have ADHD “are 36 percent more likely than other adolescent drivers to get into a car accident.” But that conclusion actually shows a lower rate of motor vehicle crashes associated with ADHD than previous studies. In the early 1990s, a study of teen drivers with ADHD determined that those young motorists were “four times more likely to get into car accidents” than teen drivers who did not have ADHD. The authors of the recent study contend that earlier investigations into the links between traffic collisions and ADHD used sample sizes that were not large enough to be adequately predictive.

In the new study, the researchers explored health records of 18,500 adolescents, of whom about 2,500 had been diagnosed with ADHD. The records were tied to driver’s license and auto accident databases from 2004-2014. Thomas Power, a co-author of the study and a clinical psychologist, emphasized that the key to preventing crashes is to properly manage ADHD in teens, but simply having ADHD is not a cause for not letting the child drive. As he clarified, “the presence of ADHD among young drivers warrants concern,” but there are ways to manage the condition. Left untreated, however, the symptoms of ADHD “can impair a driver in a way that resembles intoxicated driving.”

Identifying and Treating ADHD in Teens to Prevent Motor Vehicle Crashes

Generally speaking, ADHD can put motorists at particular risk of distracted driving on highways or on especially long drives. At the same time, research suggests that the symptoms are indeed manageable. As the article highlights, other studies have concluded that drivers with ADHD who are taking prescription medication are at significantly lower risk for a motor vehicle crash that those who are not taking medication (or who have yet to be diagnosed).

Parents who have teens with ADHD should be aware of the risks. Taking into account those accident risks, parents should make sure that their kids not only are taking their medications, but that they are ready to get behind the wheel both emotionally and psychologically. In addition, parents should be able to recognize potential signs and symptoms of ADHD so that their children can be diagnosed before driving. A fact sheet from WebMD cites the following as common signs of ADHD in teens:

  • Distracted;
  • Disorganized;
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Shows poor concentration; and
  • Signs of hyperactivity.

Seek Advice from a Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer

If you were involved in a motor vehicle collision and need help filing a claim, an experienced Tampa auto accident lawyer can assist you. Contact the Valrico Law Group to get started on your case.