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ADHD Teen Driving Allegedly A Big Problem

Posted Sep 22 2008 10:23am

CNN.com posted an article today on their website entitled, “Teen drivers with ADD a problem on the road.”  You can check out the article by clicking here…

Here are the “alleged” highlights of the article:

  • ADD / ADHD compounds the problem of teen car accidents
  • Drivers with ADHD have a greater tendency to speed
  • People with ADD / ADHD are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol
  • ADD / ADHD teens should be in a learner’s permit program longer

Author Judy Fortin has done an excellent job outlining the research in the field, and presenting a well argued position.  Unfortunately, I feat this article will only instill greater fear in parents and ADHD skeptics even further…

Readers Respond:

In addition to my own comment to the article (yet to be published on the site), many readers are weighing in with their opinions.

One 22-year-old male with ADHD stands up for his driving record to report he has never been in an accident.  In fact, he credits his ADHD for being even more vigilant and cautious on the road.

Another person cautions that is yet another way to penalize an identified group.

While both contributing experts Dr. Barkley and Chris Dendy raise valid concerns…  I think the information and message has the potential to be taken too far.

What’s next?  Will we keep people suffering from depression off the road because they are “too sad” to pay attention?

Yes… ADHD is a serious problem that affects people in different ways.  I just can’t support the full merits of this article, but rather I can advocate passionately that parents watch their children and teach them.

Teens are teens…  And until I see data that shows teens without ADHD have fewer accidents, then maybe I’ll be concerned.

Perhaps the greatest concern for me is one I mentioned previously about Dr. Barkley’s research …  And that is his research population were those who were identified as people “struggling” with ADHD.  These were NOT the people who found ways to successfully manage ADHD.

Bottom Line?

ADHD absolutely has the potential to impact everyone on the roads.  But so does poor decision making when someone decides to drink and drive.

The take away here is to make sure that teens who are driving are:

  1. Properly trained
  2. Monitored
  3. Taught safety

Parents:   If your child is NOT ready to drive by him or herself, then I urge you to watch that and wait until they are ready.

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