ADHD sufferers are a higher crash risk than drunk drivers

March 27th, 2012 - by DKRPA

Learning to drive is enough of a challenge for most people — but if you factor attention deficit hyperactivity disorder into the equation, that time behind the wheel is immeasurably more difficult. According to research done in 2007, younger drivers that suffer from ADHD are at least twice as likely to get into a car accident as a young driver without ADHD. In some cases, the risk of an accident may be four times as likely.

The study shows that driving with ADHD presents a higher crash risk than driving over the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08. It can be a hard fact to swallow for teenagers with the condition. They just want to have a shot at a driver’s license, just like their friends. However, some researchers think ADHD drivers should consider waiting to obtain a license.

A lead investigator at the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development was clear: “If I were the parent of an ADHD or other special-needs kid, my goal would be to delay licensing.” He went on to say that inattentiveness is the top cause of car accidents — the very symptom that ADHD sufferers deal with on a daily basis.

“When a driver takes his eyes off the road for two seconds or more, he’s doubled the risk of a crash,” the lead investigator said.

One of the researchers involved in the study also pointed to impulsive actions taken by those with ADHD. “They’re more prone to crashes because of inattention, but the reason their crashes are so much worse is because they’re so often speeding,” he said.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “Study: ADHD teen drivers run higher crash risk,” Mar. 27, 2012