A new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, shows that teen drivers with ADHD are prone to driving risky. This leads to car accidents, traffic violations, dangerous behavior, and more.
According to numbers shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the US, approximately 6.1 million children aged 2 to 17 are suffering from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The majority of them are potential future drivers, so a concern emerges regarding safe transportation. Experts believe that clinicians and relatives of those affected by ADHD must receive evidence-based guidance in order to be able to help the patients, protecting them and others from any accidents.
Lead author of the study, Allison E. Curry, Ph.D., MPH, and a Senior Scientist and Director of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention, expressed her opinion on the matter. Curry believes that the best method of reducing risks is to formulate better recommendations of treatment and delay the legal age of getting a driver’s license for teens with ADHD. She also declared that, with the information they currently have, scientists couldn’t precisely measure the connection between ADHD and crash risk. More research is needed to come to a conclusion.
New Research Showed That Teen Drivers With ADHD Have Higher Crash Risks
The study was conducted by a team of researchers, combining different areas of expertise, and it took place at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention and the Center for Management of ADHD. The scientists analyzed records of car accidents and traffic violations involving newly licensed drivers, resulting in a total of around 15,000 teenagers. Each of them was former patients of one of the six Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia primary care centers in New Jersey. The subjects of the study obtained their intermediate driver’s license sometime in the decade between January 2004 and December 2014.
Combining data from the teen’s health records and their driving records, the researchers discovered that 1,769 of them were diagnosed with ADHD when they were children. Comparing the AHD-diagnosed teens with the others, the team discovered that crash risk is 62% higher for those with ADHD in their first month of being licensed driver., and 37% higher in the first four years. The results were the same, regardless of the age when they received their driver’s license.
Thomas J. Power, a study co-author, stated that more research is needed to have a better understanding of the mechanisms that influence ADHD young adults, raising their risk of getting into a car accident. The scientists’ goal is to develop skills training and behavioral exercises to help young drivers with ADHD and reduce their risks.