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Study finds ADHD medication could lower crash risk

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is often characterized by short attention spans as well as impulsiveness, excessive talking, tapping and fidgeting. When people with ADHD get behind the wheel, they are more prone to talk on the phone, text, eat, play with the radio and engage in other activities while driving. Drivers in California should be aware that this condition factors into many car accidents.

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry has shown just how dangerous ADHD can be. After analyzing the health insurance claims filed between 2005 and 2014, authors identified over 2.3 million Americans aged 18 and over with ADHD. They found that in those years, 11,224 ADHD patients visited an emergency room after a car accident. At the same time, nearly 84 percent of drivers had a prescription filled. One major conclusion was that the months when prescriptions were filled were marked by less emergency room visits.

ADHD medication could have prevented up to 22.1 percent of the reported car crashes, according to the study. Males were 38 percent less likely to be in a crash when medicated, and females were 42 percent less likely. However, experts contest the idea that medication is a cure-all, saying that it usually becomes unnecessary beyond childhood. Young drivers will find their symptoms receding as driving becomes routine while those with extreme symptoms could receive behavioral therapy.

Even a medicated driver can be negligent, though. When texting or another distraction leads to a car accident, the victim will likely be eligible for compensation. A personal injury claim could cover things like medical bills, vehicle damage and pain and suffering, so the victim may want to have a lawyer's help with the process. The lawyer could hire investigators to find proof of the other's negligence before proceeding to negotiations with the insurance company. If a settlement can't be reached, the lawyer can litigate.

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