Adhd and driving

Although attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is commonly associated with small children, many people continue to struggle with its symptoms even after they're old enough to drive.

Research has found that roughly 4.4 percent of American adults – or more than 10 million -- have ADHD. Some of its symptoms can potentially interfere with safe driving. Indeed, one recent study found that adults with ADHD were about 46 percent more likely to be involved in serious vehicle accidents compared to drivers without ADHD.

However, if you've been diagnosed with ADHD or you have a teenage driver with the condition, several strategies may help lower your risk of accidents on the road.

ADHD doesn't have to take your focus off safe driving
Researchers noted that many ADHD-related concerns can contribute to accidents, like impulsive behaviors, trouble paying attention, hyperactivity and risk-taking.

However, they found that at least in men, taking medication for the condition was linked to a lower risk of accidents. Roughly half of the men's accidents might have been avoided if they had been using medication for their ADHD, according to the researchers.

Many other solutions can also help you keep your focus on the road:

  • Screen your passengers. Children can make a lot of noise while they're traveling, which may be particularly distracting for a driver with ADHD, warned the ADDitude website. Driving a carload of your fellow employees to work in the morning may be less challenging, but think twice about offering to drive your children's baseball team to the tournament.
  • Plan ahead. If you're driving to an unfamiliar destination, ask for directions or look at a map before you depart, so you're less tempted to do it while you're driving, ADDitude suggested.
  • Avoid high-tech features. Automakers keep putting new devices in their vehicles, and these bells and whistles can be distracting. If you're shopping for a new vehicle, consider avoiding options like video display screens and steering wheel controls for your radio, the National Resource Center on ADHD recommended.
  • Follow the general rules. Safety experts recommend that all drivers - not just those with ADHD - avoid distractions like eating, talking on the phone and texting.
  • If you think your teen won't be able to resist the temptation of a smartphone while driving, insist that your child stow the phone in the trunk before starting the car, WebMD stated.

    Have you had a number of car accidents? If so, your driving history may affect the type of insurance you need, as well as the amount you pay for premiums, the National Resource Center on ADHD warned. To easily find options that fit your budget, check out CoverHound, a leading source of online insurance quotes.

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