ADHD Drivers Can Be More Distracted and Inattentive, Make More Mistakes
Drivers with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can make careless mistakes while operating a motor vehicle since they often have challenges with inattentiveness and distractibility. Both adults and teen drivers with ADHD tend to be at greater risk for having accidents, receiving traffic tickets, and driving without a license. Drivers diagnosed with ADHD need to be especially aware of their own driving abilities as part of their behavioral management since it is proven that they have an increased risk in developing poor driving habits, leading to car accidents and tragedy.
They can improve driving skills and increase safety on the road by first learning about common driving mistakes people with ADHD report doing. Here is a look at the mistake list.
Distracted driving is defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation as “any non-driving activity a motorist engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving.” Most recent data from the U.S. DOT shows that 3,328 people died in crashes linked to driver distraction, and more than 421,000 more people were involved in a distracted driving injury.
Drivers with ADHD are mostly impacted by distractions during periods of slow and dull driving. These distractions can be found in things like playing with the radio or using technology like smartphones, fixing hair and putting on make-up, drinking, eating, attending to small children’s needs, and talking with another person in the car.
Hyperfocus is a common symptom for a person with ADHD and happens when they focus so closely on something that they often ignore or aren’t alert enough to see everything else going on around them. They may miss an accident warning or road condition signs warning them of hazardous zones, school or disabled child crossings, or even reduced speed limit signs. Hyperfocused driving may also cause people with ADHD to also think irrationally and question why other drivers are driving different than them.
Impulsive Driving Behavior
Some experts believe the behaviors of an impulsive and distracted ADHD driver can be just as dangerous as a drunk driver. ADHD drivers can quickly become frustrated and impulsive. This can result in them making sudden turns, random speed changes, aggressive passing, and running red lights. ADHD drivers have to work harder at recognizing signs for when they are becoming frustrated, irritated or even ‘rage-like’ behavior behind the wheel.
Reckless Driving and Operating Too Fast for Conditions
People with ADHD should work extra hard to stay within the speed limit even if other drivers are driving faster. They also need to be more aware of decreases in posted speed limits but also recognized the times when it is not safe to drive at the speed limit. For example, weather, accident or bottleneck traffic may require a motorist to slow down.
In addition, people with ADHD are often late and struggle to keep on a schedule. They may feel the urge to speed to get to an important meeting, school or planned outing. ADHD drivers should always plan a timeline for their day and take in account extra driving hiccups that may come their way.
Other common driving mistakes ADHD drivers admit to making include failure to make a complete stop, difficulty changing lanes and committing to that decision, confusion or impatience at four-way stops, nervousness at freeway or lane merging, acting too quickly to change lanes, braking too fast and making sudden speed changes, and following too close to other drivers.
Difficulties in function and other symptoms related to ADHD, including poor judgment, risk-taking and thrill-seeking tendencies, all contribute to an increased risk of being at fault of an accident or injury to themselves and others. Inattention can lead to distraction and impulsivity can lead to poor reactions to other drivers or traffic conditions.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured by a Driver with ADHD?
Drivers who are not responsible for their ADHD can cause otherwise avoidable accidents. If you or someone you love have been injured in a vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver or reckless driver, you or the family may be entitled to compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, and funeral expenses.
Call The Lee Steinberg Law Firm today for a FREE consultation with one of our experienced Michigan auto accident attorneys: 1-800-LEE-FREE.