New Research on ADHD and Driving

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • In a previous share post, "Teens Behind the Wheel with ADHD", I discussed the findings of a study showing that teens with ADHD were more likely to be injured in a car accident than their non-ADHD counterparts. In addition, teens with ADHD were shown to receive more speeding tickets and were more likely to have their driver's license suspended or revoked.  


    A new study, completed at Tel Aviv University, concluded that "ADHD is a serious driver's disability."  


    The University got together with occupational therapy departments in affiliated hospitals to create a driver's training program, using clinical data on ADHD with new information in the occupational therapy field to treat drivers with ADHD. Dr. Bavah Ratzon, an Occupational Therapist involved in the new program believes, ADHD interferes with one's ability to drive safely and that even those that repeatedly fail the driver's test and eventually get their license are more likely to be involved in a car accident.  

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    One of Dr. Ratzon's children has ADHD so she talks from both understanding the research and from personal experience. She has developed a "therapist supervised approach to re-training ADHD teens on how to drive" in an effort to save lives.  


    One method used is to include a visual checklist for ADHD drivers to follow. She believes that these items come naturally to most people without ADHD, but do not necessarily come naturally to those drivers with ADHD. The checklist would include items such as looking in the rearview mirror and scanning the road for hazards.   


    Additionally, Dr. Ratzon believes drivers with ADHD should understand when they are at their best driving. For example, she explains, some drivers may be better driving in rural areas, where there are less distractions while others may be better driving in city traffic. Additionally, different times of the day may be better for different people. These are the types of skills and knowledge taught at a driving rehabilitation center.  

Published On: November 10, 2008