Teenagers with ADHD, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, may be more prone to be involved in deadly car accidents in Louisville according to a recent study.
Youthful drivers under 18 on the whole are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal traffic accident than adults. The new study reveals some in this cohort may be at even higher risk. Those who suffer from ADHD fared worse than their peers when it came to safe driving habits. This is not to say teens with the condition shouldn't be allowed to drive, but parents must be keenly aware of the heightened concern, and take extra precautions when handing over the keys.
Research on Teen Drivers with ADHD
ADHD is a diagnosis that has been on the rise among American children and teens in recent years. Among other symptoms, ADHD makes it difficult for an individual to concentrate on a single task. This lead a group of researchers to examine whether ADHD was correlated with higher rates of teen driver accidents. The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, were that:
(1) The crash hazard among new teen drivers with ADHD was 36 percent higher than the crash risk for teens who had not been diagnosed with ADHD.
(2) The risk for ADHD drivers remained elevated regardless of licensure type, gender, age and medication.
This is a relatively new issue, and further research is needed to identify the specific causes of increased crash risks for teen drivers with ADHD. Nonetheless, parents of teen drivers who have been diagnosed with ADHD should be particularly mindful of their teen’s driving habits, and provide extra training and supervision.
Reasons Teen Drivers Face Greater Danger
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015 an average of six teenagers died every day from motor vehicle injuries. The New York Times explored the dangers of teen driving further, and found that passengers are a critical problem for teen drivers. The New York Times article reported that adding one non-family passenger to a teen’s vehicle increased the odds of having an accident by 44 percent. Interestingly, distraction was found to be highest when male teen drivers had male teen passengers in the car. Male drivers with female teen passengers drove more safely.
Distracted driving is another serious problem which has spread rapidly across America with the prevalence of smartphones. Teens are not immune to this trend: Forbes reports on a Governors Highway Safety Association study which found teens to be the largest age group of drivers who were distracted at the time of an accident. While distraction is dangerous for any driver, is is particularly problematic for young, inexperienced drivers who are not always prepared to deal with obstacles in the road.
Help teen drivers with ADHD to understand both their symptoms, and how these symptoms can affect their safety while driving. Enact and enforce family rules for the prevention of distracted driving: specifically, rules which address the use of technology and passengers in the vehicle. By extending periods of supervision and training, parents can ensure that teen drivers with ADHD are not allowing themselves to become distracted while behind the wheel.
If your teen has been injured in an auto accident, he or she has legal rights which must be protected. Contact a Louisville car accident attorney as soon as possible.