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Study indicates ADHD is a major factor in teen car accidents

Louisiana residents who share the road with teen drivers will be understandably concerned about their behavior behind the wheel, whether they are safe drivers and that they are not operating the vehicle in a reckless manner. Even when teens are following all the rules and doing their best to maintain safe driving practices, their inexperience is a worry. Other factors are relevant when there is an accident. As a new study indicates, teens who are dealing with attention deficit disorder/hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as "ADHD," are more prone to being in a crash when compared with teens who do not have ADHD. This is particularly a problem immediately after they receive their driver's license.

In the study, nearly 15,000 teens were followed over two years after getting a "graduated license," meaning they could only drive at certain times and in specific conditions. Out of those drivers, 1,769, or 12%, were diagnosed as having ADHD. These teens had a 62% greater chance of being in an accident in the first month after they received their driver's license. In the first four years after getting their driver's license, the teens who had ADHD had a 37% greater chance of being in an auto accident.

In general, younger drivers are in accidents with greater frequency than drivers who have more experience independent of having ADHD. Because they are new drivers, teens do not understand how to be safe in all circumstances when driving. Graduated driver's license programs are in place in many locations across the country, including Louisiana.

ADHD adds another layer to the danger of young drivers. With ADHD, drivers tend to be inattentive, distracted, impulsive and have problems controlling their emotions. ADHD teens were 62% more likely to have an accident with serious injury. There was a 47% higher chance of moving violations. They had a 32% greater chance of a suspension of driving privileges at least one time over the four years that the study took place.

When there is an auto accident, those involved must think about the case in multiple ways. They could have injuries that lead to major medical costs, lost time on the job and other problems that can be financially, personally and emotionally expensive. When considering a legal filing, the other driver will be a key factor in its success or failure. If it was a teen who might have been diagnosed as having ADHD, this could be critical to the case. Understanding personal injury law after car accidents is crucial.

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