Teenagers with ADHD at Higher Risk of Car Accidents

by John McKiggan

A research study conducted by the University of Toronto over 7 years has found that teenage boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) have a 35% higher risk of being hurt in car accidents, whether they are the driver or just a pedestrian.

The lead author of this study, Dr. Donald Redelmeier said that teenagers with ADHD:

“Should wear seatbelts, avoid excessive speed, restrict the use of alcohol and avoid distractions such as having a lot of passengers in the car and using a cell phone.”

Well duh!

At the risk of stating the obvious, all of the actions recommended by Dr. Redelmeier are things any reasonable, careful, and prudent person should do in order to reduce their risk of injury or accidents.

The problem, of course, is that teenagers, especially teenages with ADHD, are not always reasonable or prudent.

Medical Restrictions?

The question is whether persons with ADHD should have restrictions placed on their driver’s license. Just like people with reduced vision have restrictions placed on their driving privileges that require them to wear glasses when they drive.

Redelmeier told the Montreal Gazette:

“Maybe ADHD ought to be considered just like diabetes, epilepsy . . . or narcolepsy – that is the patient must show they are in good medical condition if they wish to maintain their driver’s licence…”

The study points out that the increased risk to teenagers with ADHD is the same as for people with epilepsy. Every province in Canada has legislation that places some limits on the driving privileges of persons with epilepsy.

So what do you think? Should persons with ADHD have their driving privileges restricted?

What about senior citizens if age effects their sight or reflexes?

Let me know what you think.

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