Driving with ADHD May be a Wreck
Researchers have known for quite some time that drivers with ADHD are more likely to speed and drive erratically in driving simulators. But a new study from Sweden has found evidence that those with ADHD are more likely to be in serious traffic accidents. The researchers evaluated 17,000 adults with ADHD over the course of four years and considered only accidents that resulted in hospitalization. They found that those with ADHD were 47 percent more likely to be in a car crash if they were male and 45 percent more likely if they were female when compared to adults without the condition.
The study also looked at a group taking medication for ADHD, thought this was rather broadly defined as anyone who had filled a prescription for ADHD medication within six months. Even so, the researchers found that men who took medication were 58 percent less likely to have a crash. Meanwhile, women with ADHD showed no significant change in the number of car accidents they had with medication.
Researchers can not be sure why drivers with ADHD are more likely to be in an accident, but they suspect that it is related to inattentiveness and impulsivity. The research was published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry and reportedly was not funded by drug companies. In fact, researchers suggest that drivers with ADHD take a number of precautions against car accidents “In addition to medication, this can mean limiting distractions like texting or cell phones, fewer passengers, breaking up monotonous drives with frequent breaks and being more vigilant about driving defensively.”