New Study Shows Teens with ADHD Have a Higher Risk of Car Accidents and Traffic Violations

Every parent worries at some point about their child getting behind the wheel. For young drivers especially, there are plenty of outside distractions they face, including electronic devices that take their attention off the road and put them at risk for getting into potentially devastating accidents. Recently, however, research has been released indicating that young teens diagnosed with ADHD might run an even higher risk of being involved in an auto accident than their peers.

In June 2019, the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP) published an article outlining the statistics to back up the claim. What they found was alarmingly informative regarding the risk young diagnosed teens run when hitting the road.

  • Teens with ADHD have a 62% higher crash risk within the first month on the road.
  • Teens with ADHD have a 37% higher crash risk within the first four years on the road.
  • 37% of teens with ADHD received a traffic violation within their first year of driving.

These statistics help to prove that young teens with ADHD are in danger when they get behind the wheel, but the question now is, why?

Accidents and Violations are a Result of Risky Behavior

For teens with ADHD, it’s not the diagnosis itself that causes the increased risk for accidents and traffic violations, it’s the behaviors associated with the diagnosis. Teens with ADHD often display risky behaviors such as:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsive Decision Making
  • Distraction 

Although all teens display these behaviors to some extent, teens with ADHD tend to display them more often and on a regular basis.

According to the CDC, 62% of adolescents ages 12-17 diagnosed with ADHD are on medication to help alleviate the associated symptoms. Unfortunately, just because a minor is taking medication for the diagnosis does not mean their risk of being involved in an accident is eliminated. One study did find that the accident rate among teens with ADHD-taking medication has decreased by 40%. However, those individuals were still involved in accidents at a higher rate than teens without a diagnosis.

What Parents Can Do To Help Their Teens with ADHD

There are no laws in Florida stating that teens with ADHD are prohibited from driving. Waiting longer to allow a teen with ADHD to get their license might hurt them instead of help since Graduated Driving Laws would then limit the amount of time they have to practice. 

The best thing the parent of any teen could do is discuss the risks of being on the road with their teen in an open and honest conversation. In addition, it’s important for parents to set limits for their teens based on their driving abilities and not let them hit the road solo until they fully believe they’re capable of operating a motor vehicle safely.

Knowledgeable and Understanding Accident Defense

For teens of any age or ability who have been involved in a car accident, the aftermath can be stressful and overwhelming for both them and their family. If you have a teenager who has been recently involved in an accident and is facing charges, or you’re having difficulty with your insurance company, the best thing to do is reach out to a trusted attorney.

At The Umansky Law Firm, our legal team has experience representing drivers of all ages in a variety of cases. Our lawyers have been recognized as Legal Elite attorneys by Florida Trend magazine, and have a proven compassionate approach that puts your best interests and future first. Contact our office today at (407) 228-3838 for an evaluation of your case and learn more about what options are available to get you on the road to recovery faster.