Recent Study Reveals That ADHD Compounds Distracted Driving Risks

Teenage drivers, who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, may be at a much higher risk of accidents compared to teens who do not suffer from the condition. The risk of accidents only increases when the ADHD teens engage in distracting practices, like texting while driving.

Those findings came from new research which was published recently in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. While everybody is aware of the dangers of texting while driving, this particular study presents a new perspective and a fresh angle from which to view the specific dangers of texting while driving.

For instance, the study finds that even normal teenagers, who do not suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, become very poor drivers when they are using texting devices at the wheel. In fact, these normal teenage drivers may begin to drive as badly as teenagers who have ADHD. The study underscores just how severely texting can impair a person’s driving abilities.

The researchers studied a total of 61 drivers as part of the study. About 50% of them suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. All of the teenagers were between 16 and 17 years of age. The teenagers were made to drive a simulator for about 40 min. For about half the time, they drove without any distractions. However for 2 segments of 10 minutes each, they drove while they were talking on a cell phone, or sending and receiving text messages.

The teenagers who suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder had difficulty staying in their lanes, and maintaining constant speed while texting, compared to the teenagers who did not suffer from the condition. Teenagers with ADHD drifted out of their lanes about 1.8% of the time.

Compounding the risk of distracted driving among all drivers is the fact that cell phone use is addictive, even for older drivers.  The reason for the recent surge in national distracted driving rates is the rate which older drivers are now using their cell phones to navigate, update social media, e-mail, and a host of other business/work related factors.

Doug Horn is a Missouri car accident attorney, dedicated to helping persons injured in car accidents in Missouri recover the compensation they deserve. Horn is also founder of Drive By Example, a community service organization dedicated to advancing driver safety. Check out drivebyexample.com for more information.

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