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Are those with ADHD involved in more accidents?


Posted on behalf of Mark F. Griffin of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Mar 10, 2015 in Car Accidents

While it is true that any driver could find that he or she is involved in a motor vehicle accident, certain groups could find themselves in this position more often than others. For example, teens and young adults are generally considered to be demographics that are more prone to being involved in a crash. Those with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder could face an even higher risk of this occurring.

A study which was published in JAMA Psychiatry online, last year found that both men as well as women with ADHD faced an increased risk of being involved in a traffic accident as compared to those without. Specifically it found an increase of 47 and 45 percent respectively. The study, which was conducted in Sweden, focused on 17,000 adults of both sexes who had been diagnosed with the condition.

The study also looked at the impact that medications for ADHD had on the risk of a car crash occurring. It found that medication was extremely beneficial for male drivers. It reduced the risk by 58 percent. Interestingly, medication did not seem to play a role at all in reducing the risk where female drivers were concerned.

In addition to taking the medications prescribed there are other things that drivers with ADHD can do to reduce the risk of being involved in a wreck. These include taking a defensive driving course, making sure the vehicle is in good condition before setting off and that safety precautions such as putting on a seat belt have been taken.

It is also important to limit one’s use of GPS so that it does not prove to be a distraction. Having another person ride along to manage the device can be beneficial in this regard and may help to provide warnings of things the driver should be aware of. To help keep speeding in check, purchasing a car with cruise control and using the feature can be a good strategy. Reducing all distractions is beneficial as well.

While these tips are specifically directed at drivers diagnosed with ADHD, they may benefit other drivers as well. Most would agree that anything that could make the roads safer for drivers and their passengers is a good thing.