Risk of Serious Traffic Crash Increases Significantly in Drivers with ADHD

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported Swedish researchers have indicated that drivers with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a greater chance of being involved in serious traffic accidents. The results were culled from 17,000 subjects. It was determined that the risk for an accident is roughly 50 percent higher for people diagnosed with ADHD.

For men, the risk was 47 percent higher and for women, 45 percent. But it was also found that the risk was significantly reduced for men who take medication to treat their condition (by as much as 58 percent). However, women didn’t experience the same dramatic benefits.

Of course, it shouldn’t come as any surprise. Previous studies have shown that drivers with ADHD are more likely to engage in dangerous behavior behind the wheel — such as speeding, erratic driving, running stop signs, etc. So it would suggest that treating the condition could improve driving performance and reduce the risk of an accident.

ADHD has many different symptoms, but two of the main ones are impulsivity and inattention. Both can seriously impair driving. Of course, medication isn’t the only answer. It’s also important that drivers (with or without ADHD) avoid other distractions.

For instance, talking on a cellphone, eating while driving, texting and multiple passengers all contribute to distracted driving. Three out of five children take ADHD with them into adulthood, so it is very important that parents prevent distracted driving, especially in teens with ADHD. This includes teaching by example, and many parents admit to being distracted behind the wheel.

Car Accidents Caused by a Driver’s Inattentiveness

Whatever the reason for distracted driving, the weight of responsibility still lies with the person who causes the accident. Inattentiveness is considered a form of negligence and can establish culpability. However, sometimes it’s not immediately clear what happened, so an investigation may need to be conducted.

Although most accidents are minor and don’t require legal counsel, when someone has suffered serious injuries it’s usually a good idea to talk with an attorney. Not only can the attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates help assess damages suffered, but they also can determine what caused the accident and gather the evidence necessary to prove it. To start the process, call 800-550-0000.

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