A comprehensive study, published in the Psychology Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that drivers with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who took medication had significantly fewer car accidents than those who did not take medication. The national study analyzed car accident records among 2.3 million patients with ADHD. Researchers concluded that patients had a significantly decreased risk of being involved in a car accident if they were on ADHD medication.
ADHD Symptoms and Treatment
ADHD is a neurological disorder characterized by an ongoing pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. During an inattentive phase, a person may find it challenging to focus on a single task and are prone to distraction. In periods of hyperactivity, the person may behave in an excited manner, whether it is constant talking, fidgeting, or another repetitive behavior. During the impulsive phase, people may make decisions without considering the consequences. ADHD patients who exhibit impulsivity are most prone to risky behaviors.
People with ADHD may make frequent mistakes in work or projects, have trouble listening and focusing on conversations, are forgetful during routine tasks, lose things frequently, interrupt others, leave their seat, or move around when it is not appropriate for the situation. People with ADHD can become frustrated with themselves because of these behaviors, which are beyond their control. Stimulant medications are the primary method of treatment for ADHD. Medication can significantly reduce symptoms, allowing patients to be more productive and efficient at work and at home. Non-stimulant medications and behavioral therapy are also used to treat ADHD.
Effect of ADHD Medications on Driving
Previous studies have already established a higher number of car accidents among those diagnosed with ADHD. Lead author of the JAMA Psychology study, Zheng Chang, believes that the symptoms of ADHD interfere with safe driving behavior, leading to more accidents. Drivers with ADHD may be more prone to distraction. The rash judgement and lapses in attention common among people with ADHD can lead to unsafe driving. In curbing the symptoms of ADHD, prescribed stimulant medication helps decrease car accidents among sufferers.
Data Behind the Results
Participants in the study were among a national cohort of patients identified by commercial health insurance claims between 2005 and 2014. Visits to emergency rooms for car accidents were analyzed. Risk was assessed for months when patients were on ADHD medication and months when they were not. Male drivers with ADHD receiving medication were 38 percent less likely to be involved in a car accident than when they were not taking medication. For women with ADHD, that percentage increased to 42 percent. The authors of the study estimate that 22.1 percent of motor vehicle crashes might have been avoided if patients with ADHD were on medication.
Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Victims Injured in Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving is one of the country’s leading causes of car accidents. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, a Delaware County car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC can help you. We will fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call our office at 215-569-8488 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation. McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC have offices in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.