If your teen has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you may have concerns about your child getting behind the wheel. You may feel your teen isn’t mature enough for a license or worry that your child will lose focus while driving. The Wisconsin car accident attorneys at Hupy and Abraham share your concerns, but with proper training and time, your child can become a safe driver.
Facts about ADHD
It is estimated that 7.5 percent of school children have ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD include: forgetfulness, distraction, difficulty paying attention, difficulty staying focused on a task, difficulty focusing on details, restlessness, and difficulty taking turns. These symptoms can interfere with school, social activities and driving.
A 2007 study, conducted by Russell Barkley of the Medical University of South Carolina and Daniel Cox of the University of Virginia Health System, found that teen drivers with ADHD are two to four times more likely than teens without ADHD to cause a car accident. In fact, these teens are at a higher risk of a Wisconsin car crash than an adult with a blood alcohol content of .08.
ADHD and Driving
The main challenge for drivers with ADHD is overcoming distraction. Distraction is the leading cause of car crashes in the United States. Drivers without ADHD can choose not to text or not to answer their cell phones, but drivers with ADHD don’t choose their distractions. Even two second of inattention is enough to cause a deadly Wisconsin auto accident.
ADHD is also linked with risk-taking. Drivers with ADHD are more likely to speed, more likely to break traffic laws, and more likely to not wear their seat belts.
According to the researchers, many teens with ADHD can eventually become good drivers, but they may need more time than their peers before they can safely operate a car. The authors suggest that parents consider delaying driving lessons for children with ADHD, especially if the child shown consistent bad judgment. Once the teen shows signs of being ready to drive, parents should not rush to get their child licensed. Instead, the authors suggest extending the permit stage to give the young driver more supervised driving practice.
Young drivers with ADHD should never skip taking medication. ADHD medications that help focus attention, like Ritalin and Adderall, can reduce the risk of Wisconsin driving accidents.
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