Could ADHD Medication Help Prevent Traffic Accidents?

Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common psychological condition that affects children and adults alike. In fact, in the United States, approximately 11% of children and 4.4% of adults age 18-44 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Boys are two to three times more likely to have ADHD than girls, and many of these children with ADHD will continue to suffer from ADHD as an adult.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition that causes attention difficulties and decreased ability to control impulsive behaviors. Left untreated, ADHD can lead to a number of problems, including:

  • Problems at school
  • Problems at work, including lost productivity and reduced earning power
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Increased traffic violations and traffic accidents
  • Problems with overeating and obesity
  • Problems with the law

Fortunately, the appropriate medication has been shown to reduce ADHD symptoms and prevent some of the ancillary problems associated with ADHD. For instance, a new study shows that, although people with ADHD are more likely to be in a serious auto accident, medication can counteract that risk for some. Specifically, researchers found that people with ADHD are about 50 percent more likely to be in serious traffic accidents, compared to people without the condition, but that taking medication to control some of the symptoms may help reduce that increased risk, especially among men.

After analyzing data collected between 2006 and 2009 from 17,408 Swedish adults with ADHD. The researchers found that during that time, there were approximately 214 serious accidents among every 10,000 men with ADHD each year, compared to about 77 accidents per 10,000 men without ADHD. There were also about 120 accidents for every 10,000 women with ADHD per year during the study, compared to about 52 accidents per 10,000 women without ADHD.

Although the researchers were unable to pinpoint a reason for the increased risk of serious traffic accidents among people with ADHD, they pointed out that past research has attributed the increased traffic collision rate to inattentiveness and impulsivity.

After comparing data for those drivers with ADHD who had a prescription for ADHD medication to those who weren’t prescribed medication, the researchers found that those men who had a prescription were 29 percent less likely to be in an auto accident. The researchers also compared data from times when each man was on ADHD medication to times when the same man wasn’t on medication, and found that taking ADHD reduced the accident rate by 58 percent. According to Reuters, “overall, the researchers said that between 41 percent and 49 percent of accidents among men with ADHD may have been prevented if they were on medication.”

Although there were no differences for women, the researchers said that this could be due to the small number of women included in the study.

Auto accidents are among the most common types of personal injury accidents. The Chicago auto accident attorneys at Cogan & Power, P.C. are dedicated to keeping Chicago motorists safe and helping the victims of auto accidents obtain the financial recovery that they deserve.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident, do not hesitate to contact the experienced auto accident law firm of Cogan & Power at (312) 477-2500 to receive a free case evaluation. We will promptly launch an independent investigation of the accident to collect and review any available evidence so that we can assess all potential legal claims. After we have conducted a comprehensive legal analysis, we will vigorously advocate on your behalf to get you the compensation you need and deserve.