Do teens with ADHD have more car accidents?

teens with adhd have more car accidents

Most teenage drivers are happy and eager to get their driver’s license. It’s a rite of passage and a step towards freedom and adulthood. However, a study conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia advises young adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to be extra cautious when driving as studies show that teens with ADHD have more car accidents.

According to ScienceDaily, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia directed a complex, first of its kind study, linking nearly 20,000 electronic health records of children born from 1987 through 1997 and New Jersey driver licensing and crash date to establish the link between ADHD, driving, and collisions. Pharmacy Times reported that there was a 62% higher crash risk for drivers with ADHD the first month after getting licensed, and nearly a 40% higher risk during the first 4 years after obtaining a license. Despite the findings of the increased risk of accidents for drivers with ADHD, Allison E, Curry, PhD, MPH, and principal study investigator noted, “this is a manageable risk.” The Teen Driving Safety Research team at CHOP works to research driving with various developmental disabilities, such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities. Through their research, they hope to decrease accidents and create a smoother and safer transition from adolescence to adulthood.

Liability in accidents caused by medical conditions

Car accident liability in medical emergencies is broken down into two categories: Foreseen medical emergencies and unforeseen medical emergencies. When an unforeseen medical condition causes an accident, a person is not considered negligent, and therefore they are not held liable. An example of this would be an unexpected heart attack in an otherwise healthy individual. However, if the person has any medical history that would indicate that he or she had prior knowledge of a medical condition that might put them at risk while driving, whey will be considered negligent and held liable. In this case, a car accident personal injury claim can be pursued. ADHD, a condition typically diagnosed during adolescent years, would be a highly unlikely argument to escape negligence and liability. Furthermore, if someone diagnosed with ADHD was not taking their medication, it may further a negligence case against them under the law.

The good news is, ADHD is a manageable condition. Doctors recommend those diagnosed take a proactive role in driving safely. The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP has helpful tools to help families through the driving process. Another great resource is the Teen Driving Plan Parent Guide, located on the website.

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John Fox is the founder of Fox Law, a top rated Personal Injury Law Firm located in Philadelphia. Fox Law offers free consultations with no obligation. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. We welcome the opportunity to represent you.

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