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ADHD in the News – Driving… Dangerous, Take Your Meds

January 31, 2014

car accident

A new study conducted by the Karolinka Institute in Sweden indicates that drivers with ADHD are almost 50% more likely to be involved in a serious automobile accident than their peers without the disorder.  The study also showed that when med with ADHD take medication for the disorder, they can dramatically decrease this risk.


For me, this shows two things I have always known to be true.

1. Having ADHD makes it hard to be a good driver.  It requires attention, patience, impulse control, and focus – all of which we are traditionally very bad at.  Although, in my own personal experience, driving was much more difficult for me in the first few years after I started taking medication because I couldn’t distract myself from the things about driving that drive me crazy……mostly, other drivers.  You can read more about my experience in this post I wrote about ADHD and road rage.

2. Meds matter, especially to adults.  In fact, one of the best things about meds for me is that they make driving possible.  In the months preceding my diagnosis, I quit smoking and one of the greatest challenges I had was being able to stay awake while driving when I wasn’t chain smoking.  Apparently, my brain finds driving far too boring to remain conscious.  In order to stay awake in those first few non-smoking months I would eat, constantly, because someone once told me your body will not allow you to fall asleep if there is food in your mouth in order to prevent choking.  Really, it was just a good excuse to eat a lot of Boston Creme Donuts.  But, three months post-smoking I had already gained almost 40 pounds….most of it from driving donuts.  Then came Adderall, which was a much better replacement for all the caffeine and nicotine I used to self-medicate with than donuts ever could be.  I can totally understand how meds makes driving safer for all ADHDers on the road.

You can read more about the study here or here.



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