There may be a new way to lower car crash rates in California and other states – simply make sure that people are properly medicated. A new study shows that drivers with ADHD who receive appropriate medication may be far less likely to cause car accidents than their unmedicated counterparts. Previous academic studies have shown that these drivers are more likely to cause wrecks because of impulse control and difficulty concentrating. Up to about 20 percent of car accidents could be avoided with better medication for ADHD drivers.
What are the core symptoms of ADHD that affect driving? Impulsive actions, lack of focus, excessive fidgeting and other symptoms can lead to poor driving habits for those who suffer from this condition. It is not too big of a leap to imagine that an inattentive driver could quickly become a negligent driver. In fact, studies show that drivers with ADHD may be more likely to drive distracted.
Although we often take the skill of driving for granted, experts say that driving is actually a complex task that requires a combination of competencies. ADHD sufferers who are medicated are better prepared for this task, say experts – ADHD drivers who take medication lower their crash risk by 35 to 45 percent. The medication helps drivers remain more focused, eliminating distractions from other people in the vehicle or even technological devices like phones. People with ADHD are less likely to attend to those distractions if they are receiving proper treatment.
Distracted drivers should be held accountable for their roles in personal injury accidents, no matter the reason for the collision. Victims deserve compensation for their pain and suffering, medical costs and other expenditures. Drivers who fail to take their ADHD medications do not have an excuse for causing a car accident.
Source: CNN Health, “Medication slashes crash risk for drivers with ADHD, study finds,” Susan Scutti, May 10, 2017