If you have raised children or are currently the proud parent of a thriving teenager, you likely understand a teen’s first foray into driving a motor vehicle can be a proud and meaningful moment. However, being able to drive gives adolescents and young adults as much freedom and independence as potential risks and responsibilities.
While getting a child on the road is a defining moment for any parent, it can also be a stressful experience worth at least a few gray hairs. According to new research, that may be particularly true for parents of teens diagnosed with ADHD.
Risks of Dangerous Driving Behaviors in Teens with ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a condition characterized by difficulties with focus, sustained attention, and impulsive behaviors, and is most recognized for its impact on school or work performance. As a new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics suggest, ADHD may also have a significant impact on young motorists and their ability to avoid dangerous driving behaviors that lead to collisions.
The study, conducted by researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, looked at the driving records of nearly 1,800 adolescents who were diagnosed with ADHD and received their driver’s licenses between 2004 and 2014.
Here are some key findings:
- Teen drivers with ADHD were found to have a 62% higher crash risk in the first month after receiving their driver’s license, and a 37% higher risk during the first 4 years of driving, regardless of when they received their license.
- Nearly 37% of study participants were cited for a traffic violation, and 27% for a moving violation, within the first year of driving. Roughly 25% and 18% of teens without ADHD, respectively, were cited.
- Teen motorists with ADHD had 1.5x the rate of moving violations (such as speeding, texting while driving, etc.) compared to those without the condition.
- Teens with ADHD had a 109% higher risk of driving drunk than those without, and a roughly 3.5x higher rate of alcohol or drug-related driving violations.
- Researchers also found study participants with ADHD saw higher rates of crashes involving passengers, were more likely to be at fault for accidents, and had more injury-causing accidents.
Takeaways for Teens & Parents
The study adds to growing research about the dangers associated with young drivers. According to the study, higher citation rates among younger motorists with ADHD suggest they’re more likely to engage in risky behaviors that cause them to crash more often than those who don’t have the condition. However, experts are careful to point out that any teen, and any adult for that matter, can still exhibit dangerous driving behaviors similar to those associated with ADHD, including inattention, distraction, and risky or impulsive decision making.
Parents, insurers, and safety officials know teens and young adults are more likely to be involved in car accidents than older adults. Even though that’s led to more efforts for educating young motorists about safe driving practices, data shows they’re still involved in crashes at alarmingly high rates. Parents, therefore, should take these risks to heart and address them openly with their young drivers.
Whether your child has ADHD, is learning how to drive, or is enjoying their newfound freedom, it’s important they understand the dangers of risky driving, and the serious repercussions that accompany citations, criminal charges, and accidents. That’s especially true during the summer months, when teens are more likely to be out and about, celebrating breaks from school, and hanging out with friends.
Legal Representation for Injured Accident Victims Across Central Florida
At Todd Miner Law, we handle auto accident cases involving victims and at-fault drivers of all ages, and know that while teens may be statistically inclined to make risky decisions behind the wheel, drivers of any age can do the same. As personal injury lawyers, we help clients harmed in traffic accidents hold negligent drivers accountable for preventable crashes, and financially liable for the damages victims suffer – including their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
If you have a potential car accident claim, call (407) 269-5877 for a free consultation. Todd Miner Law serves clients throughout Orlando and Central Florida.