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Study links people with ADHD to higher risk of car accidents

Driving vehicles requires people to adopt safe behaviors and successfully combine cognitive, motor and visual skills. Among people in California diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, their tendency to be easily distracted has appeared to impact their driving abilities according to multiple studies. The defining characteristics of ADHD include impulsiveness, hyperactivity and difficulty paying attention.

Researchers who examined records for over 2.3 million people concluded that people who had been prescribed medicine to control ADHD experienced fewer car crashes than ADHD drivers without medication. The researchers then compared the data from ADHD patients to a control group. They found that ADHD medication lowered the risk of wrecks among male ADHD patients by 38 percent. For female ADHD drivers, the accident risk went down by 42 percent when they took medication.

An ADHD researcher not affiliated with the study called its findings significant but cautioned against relying solely on medication. He added that adults with ADHD sometimes do not want to take medication because they dislike side effects and the potential stigma. Another researcher added that even when people take medication, its benefits might wear off at the end of the day and leave drivers vulnerable to ADHD symptoms.

All drivers, regardless of their health status, have an obligation to pay attention to the road. A person hurt in a wreck caused by a distracted driver might recover damages with the support of an attorney. A personal injury lawsuit could enable an injured victim to gain a settlement to pay for medical bills and lost wages. An attorney could gather evidence about the crash and study the coverage available from an insurance policy. Negotiations led by an attorney might result in compensation for the victim's injuries.

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