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Roger Burket, MD

Robert S. Barry, M.D. Inc


ADHD and the Adolescent Driver:

February 01, 2007

ABSTRACT: Adolescent drivers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to be involved in--and to die of--a driving accident than any other cause. The higher occurrence of driving mishaps is not surprising given that the core symptoms of ADHD are inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Safe driving habits can diminish the risk, however. The first step is to inform patients of the dangers of driving; the significance of adolescence, ADHD, and medication can be underscored in a written "agreement." Strategies to promote safer driving--especially optimally dosed long-acting stimulant medication taken 7 days a week--may be critical. A number of measures lead to safer driving by reducing potential distractions during driving (eg, setting the car radio before driving, no drinking or eating or cell phone use while driving, no teenage passengers in the car for the first 6 months of driving, and restricted night driving).