ADHD And Driving: ADHD Medications Lower Risks of Teen Auto Accidents

Posted Feb 11th, 2009 by Guylaine Juteau  Category: Arts & Entertainment, Toledo.com


Ontario, Canada –“The use of ADHD medications improves the quality of driving for teens and young adults while significantly reducing the risk of accidents,” said Dr. Daniel Cox in a recent video podcast on www.ADHD.tv.

Cox, of the University of Virginia Health System, has been studying the effects of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications and driving for many years. He cites multiple studies based not only at the University of Virginia, but also those conducted at the University of South Carolina, Harvard and in the Netherlands.

ADHD is a disorder in which individuals experience impulsivity, hyperactivity as well as the inability to focus for any length on a task at hand. Currently, statistics explain that approximately 5 to 7 percent of children and young adults in the United States have this problem. That accounts for nearly two million individuals. It also affects adults as well.

The specific periods when automobile accidents occur involving teen and young adult drivers with the mental health disorder Cox explained to Dr. Kenny Handelman, child psychiatrist and ADHD advocate, are the summer months, the weekends and late in the evening.

“All these times correspond to those when individuals are least likely to be taking their ADHD medications,” Cox explained.

Automobile accidents are a concern for teen and young adults in general, but even more of a concern for those who have ADHD. In the general adolescent population, Cox said, of all the females who die, 46 percent of them die because of a car accident.

Similarly, deaths among adolescent males due to car accidents account for 36 percent of the total deaths. While Cox admits these statistics are shocking, he then cites statistics of drivers who have ADHD.

Those adolescents with ADHD, he told Handelman during the video podcast, are two to four times more likely to be in a collision, three times more likely to receive a citation and are six to eight times increased risk of having their driver’s licenses suspended due to multiple violations.

Cox said that his studies also revealed that when choosing medications for ADHD, those labeled as “long acting” actually do work better for many individuals.

For more information on the research, visit: http://www.adhd.tv/adhd-and-driving-adhd-tv-episode-4/

One of the most common disorders of childhood, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is characterized by the symptoms of impulsivity, the inability to concentrate or focus on tasks at hand, as well as hyperactivity.

ADHD appears to be a growing global health problem, affecting as many as seven percent of the total childhood population worldwide. Not only that, but more than 60 percent of these children continue to manage the disorder as they enter adulthood.

Dr. Kenny Handelman is a psychiatrist from Ontario Canada with a special interest in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In addition to founding www.ADHDWorld.com, he also has a blog, www.ADDADHDblog.com and is the host of an online video broadcast, www.adhd.tv.com.

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