New Drivers and ADHD: What to Expect
Learning to drive is an exciting time in a teenager's life. It's a rite of passage from adolescence to adulthood - a time when children begin learning how to become adults and participating in the adult world. Unfortunately, for those teenagers with ADHD, driving can be a dangerous endeavor.
Underdeveloped perceptual skills, lack of organization, and low concentration levels combined with difficulty regulating behavior and moods can all lead to unstable driving practices including:
- Missing signs and traffic signals
- Having poor hand, eye and foot coordination
- Drifting in their lane
- Poor judgment
- Slowing response time to changing lights or turning cars
- Driving too slow or fast
- Becoming distracted
- Minor accidents
Statistics of ADHD Teen Drivers
Teenagers with and without ADHD make up only 7% of all drivers, but cause 20% of all accidents. Teens with ADHD have been shown to be 2-4 times more likely to have an accident, 3 times more likely to be injured, and 4 times more likely to be at fault in an accident than teens without ADHD. It's also been reported that teens with ADHD are 2-6 times more likely to get speeding tickets and 6-8 times more likely to have their licenses suspended. This information is not being reported to discourage ADHD teens from driving, but instead to encourage teens and parents to thoroughly train and educate themselves on proper driving techniques.
Teens with ADHD are perfectly capable of learning how to drive; they just might require more training and one-on-one focus than other teenagers. It may also take them longer to learn from their mistakes while practicing driving.
ADHD Driver Education
Those with ADHD will need to be even more aware of their driving abilities than those without. If you are concerned about your driving abilities, or those of a person with ADHD, consult a driver rehabilitation specialist who can conduct an evaluative test. These specialists will note your visual perception, reaction timing, and your abilities driving. They have knowledge of driving laws and teaching techniques, as well as medical information related to ADHD. Remember, young drivers with ADHD may need more education and time spent training than others, but are just as capable of driving safely.
Concerned you or your child may have ADHD? Want to track progress with an ADHD treatment? Need a way to work with your ADHD child's teacher? Take our Complete ADHD Assessment today!