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ADHD increases crash risk for young drivers

A study published by JAMA Pediatrics shows that young drivers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are 36 percent more likely to be involved in an accident than other young motorists. Missouri residents should know that, according to experts, the risks around drivers with ADHD are manageable.

ADHD is a chronic condition characterized by poor impulse control and short attention spans. If left untreated, it can lead to behavior similar to that of intoxicated drivers. Long-distance and highway driving can easily tempt those with ADHD into texting, eating, playing with the radio, and other activities that constitute distracted driving. This is one main reason why those with ADHD tend to get their driver’s licenses at an older age.

Parents are the first line of defense, as they should carefully gauge whether their child is emotionally ready to get a license. Young drivers should ideally have strong communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. A driver rehabilitation specialist could help in the cultivation of such skills.

Besides therapeutic help, drivers should also consider medication, as this dramatically lowers the risk for crashes. An earlier study by JAMA Psychiatry showed that out of 2,479 adolescents who received their license, only 12 percent were medicated within the previous 30 days. Experts believe that by improving access to medication and therapy, there will be no need to change current traffic laws.

In the event that an ADHD sufferer causes a car collision, an injured victim might want to see a lawyer about filing a personal injury claim. Investigators can come in to establish the other driver’s negligence, using documents like police reports and medical histories. The lawyer can then negotiate a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company to cover medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other amounts.