Texting Increases Accident Risks for Teen Drivers with ADHD

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Teen motorists, who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, may have poor driving skills, compared to those teens who do not suffer from ADHD. However, when researchers recently compared driving skills of the two categories of groups, and introduced texting while driving into the equation, they found that teenagers who were texting were actually poorer drivers than teens who suffered from ADHD.

Overall, the results of the study found that teenagers who suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder showed bad driving skills, compared to teenagers with no history of the condition. However, the risks of being involved in an accident increased substantially when texting was added to the mix.

Teen texting is a serious highway safety problem, and teenagers account for the some of the highest volumes of texting in the United States every year.

The researchers also found that medications for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder do not reduce a teen’s risk of being involved in an accident. Persons, who suffer from ADHD, are often prescribed stimulant medication that can help them control their symptoms to some extent. However, most teenagers who suffer from ADHD tend to drive at night or during weekends, when they are less likely to have taken their medication.

Teenagers who suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder had more difficulty staying within their lane while driving, and maintaining constant speeds. They were also much more likely to drift out of their lanes. All of this translated into a much higher risk of making driving errors. As many as 17 % of the teens with ADHD had received at least one traffic ticket, while in the group without any symptoms of ADHD, the rate was just 6%.

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