Car accidents are more likely for adults who experience ADHD symptoms beyond childhood, according to a new study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
ADHD, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, affects more than 6.1 million children in America. Characterized by trouble focusing, sitting still, and staying organized, the condition is much more common in males than females. Approximately 75 percent of children with ADHD continue to have the disorder into adulthood.
Adults with ADHD go on to live healthy and happy lives, but their attention and impulsivity issues can impair their driving ability. Stimulant medications can help adults with ADHD avoid crashes and drive more safely, according to the Center for Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD).
If you’re living with ADHD, it’s important to understand how the condition impacts your driving ability and make changes to keep yourself and others safe.
How ADHD Affects Driving Ability
Research shows that ADHD is associated with more traffic violations, speeding violations, license suspensions and risky driving behaviors. According to the study, car crashes were nearly twice as likely for adults with ADHD compared to those without the disorder. In instances where ADHD symptoms tapered off after childhood, the risk of car crashes was the same as for those who never had ADHD.
According to CHADD, people who drive with untreated symptoms of ADHD can be as impaired as an intoxicated driver. They are more easily distracted behind the wheel and can overestimate their own driving abilities. Prior research in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that 41 to 49 percent of accidents involving males with ADHD could have been avoided with proper treatment.
Why Are More Accidents Occurring for Adults with ADHD?
Adults with ADHD often have trouble with executive functioning, which are the skills that help people activate, organize, integrate and manage their thoughts and behaviors. Executive functioning is what enables individuals to account for the short and long-term consequences of their actions and to plan for those results.
Issues with executive function lead to poor judgment, risk-taking, impulsivity and thrill-seeking tendencies. In addition, adults with ADHD tend to more easily become distracted by a cell phone, music, passengers and the scenery around them.
Driving Safety Tips
What can adults with ADHD do to prevent crashes?
- Reduce distractions in the car, including electronics. Turn off cell phones.
- Avoid eating and drinking, especially alcohol.
- Know routes in advance.
- Know state traffic laws, including the correct use of turn signals/indicators, blinkers and speed zones.
- If necessary, attend a driver education program that addresses ADHD concerns.
- Don’t stop taking medications without the advice of a doctor.
Contact the Winter Haven Car Accident Attorneys at Brooks Law Group
Were you seriously hurt in a car accident in Winter Haven? The injury attorneys at Brooks Law Group can help you fight for compensation from the liable party. Call or contact us today to arrange a free consultation.