A study published in JAMA Psychiatry indicates that ADHD patients who take medication are significantly less likely to be involved in car accidents than those who do not. The study, which included more than 2.3 million people from Illinois and across the U.S., suggested that as much as 22.1 percent of motor vehicle accidents involving drivers with ADHD might have been avoided if they were properly medicated.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder includes symptoms like lowered impulse control, hyperactivity and a decreased ability to pay attention. These symptoms, according to the study’s lead author, can interfere with the ability to drive safely. People who have ADHD are more prone to engage in distracted driving behavior, making accidents more likely.
The study made use of health insurance claims filings from 2005 to 2014 and identified 2.3 million American adults with ADHD. Roughly 84 percent of these patients had been prescribed at least one medication for the disorder. On average, the people studied were approximately 32 years old. Researchers examined emergency room visit data for car accidents and then compared the data with the ADHD patients’ prescription history. Male patients had a crash risk 38 percent lower during months when they filled their ADHD prescriptions. For female patients, the risk was 42 percent lower.
The authors of the study acknowledged that the data may not be perfect because only visits to emergency rooms were examined, which means less severe crashes were not included. Additionally, merely filling the prescription does not mean the person took the medication, and all crashes were included, not just distracted driving crashes.
Someone who is injured in a car accident might want to speak with an attorney. Legal counsel who practices personal injury law might be able to help by examining the facts, deposing witnesses and building a case for compensation. An injured party could recover for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages or other damages.