Teens with ADHD and Driving Cars

Most people are aware that functioning in every day life with ADHD is often difficult. But is even driving a car with ADHD dangerous?

What is ADHD?

ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD is a developmental disorder that usually manifests itself during childhood. Children with ADHD have trouble paying attention and are often prone to chronic hyperactivity. They may also have trouble remembering things, become easily distracted, and may have trouble controlling themselves and their impulses. An approximate two thirds of these children will grow up with ADHD and carry the disorder with them into their adulthood. The cause behind ADHD is uncertain, but genetics seems to be the dominant hypothesis. Occasionally, patients who have experienced head trauma may develop ADHD. Malnutrition may also play a factor in ADHD-like behavior. While taking care of a child with ADHD is often difficult as it is, things only get more difficult as they grow into a teenager. A concern is driving. Is it safe for teenagers with ADHD to get behind the wheel?

ADHD and Driving

A study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that young adults ages 16-22 with ADHD had a harder time driving than the sampling of young adults who did not have ADHD. Statistically, people with ADHD were issued more tickets and were involved in more collisions. They were also more likely to be at fault in the event of traffic crashes, and have them more often. Other complications included the nature of distraction. It is advised that normal drivers avoid cell phone use, distracting passengers, and the frequent manipulation of their radio controls to promote safer driving, but drivers with ADHD may have a harder time following these rules of caution. Does this mean that individuals with ADHD should be confined to a life of car pooling and public transportation? Not necessarily. There are ways to decrease the affect that ADHD has on ones life and to achieve a more normal behavior pattern.


While many parents have been able to help control ADHD in their children with prescription medication, some parents are reluctant to continue to use this same medication as their child grows older. Additionally, some parents are weary of the side effects prescription medication may have on their children. Psychotherapy, in some instances, may help with ADHD, as well as taking herbal alternatives. Herbal alternatives are different from prescription medications in that their ingredients are all-natural, thereby having few negative side effects, and therefore they can be sold over-the-counter.

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