PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Teens with ADHD — Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder — are significantly more likely to get into a car crash than their peers, according to a new Philadelphia study. This study is the first of its kind to examine traffic violations and accident reports linked to teenage patients with ADHD.
This study comes from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury and Research Prevention.
“Even though they were getting licensed at an older age, they were still at a greater risk,” said study co-author Ben Yerys.
Yerys, a psychologist at CHOP, says the research covered driving records of 1,800 New Jersey teens diagnosed with ADHD.
“Within the first month of getting your license, they were 62% more likely to get into an accident,” said Yerys. “That’s a pretty striking number.”
After their first four years behind the wheel, drivers with ADHD were 37% more likely to crash compared to their peers without the disorder.
They were also more than twice as likely to be involved in alcohol-related crashes and engage in other risky behavior like speeding, not wearing seat belts and using electronics while driving.
“It comes with part of the disorder, the key pieces of ADHD diagnoses are that children or teens in this case are having more problems with being focused on task at hand,” said Yerys. “They may be more likely to have impulsive behavior and may have more problem sustaining attention and they can be more easily distracted.”
Researchers say the study indicates teens with ADHD could benefit from more driving supervision and perhaps some specialized support or training.
The research, published in Pediatrics, was supported by the National Institutes of Health.