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Medication could help ADHD patients avoid car accidents

Illinois drivers diagnosed with ADHD may be at increased risk for a car crash if they are not taking medication for the disorder, according to a study. The study was published in JAMA Psychiatry in May 2017.

ADHD, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is a neurodevelopment condition that can cause suffers to have difficulty paying attention. Other symptoms could include impulse control issues and hyperactivity. According to experts, ADHD has the potential to inhibit safe driving techniques, such as paying attention to the road. In fact, previous research has shown that ADHD sufferers are involved in more car accidents than drivers who do not have the disorder.

Using health insurance records between 2005 and 2014, researchers identified around 2.3 million U.S. adults with ADHD. The researchers then analyzed crash-related emergency room visits made by ADHD patients during that period and found that 11,244 of them had sought emergency treatment after a car accident. The data showed that medicated ADHD patients had a reduced risk of crashing compared to unmedicated patients. For example, medicated male patients were 38 percent less likely to crash, while medicated female patients were 42 percent less likely to crash. ADHD experts note that driving is a complex task that can be difficult for some ADHD patients to master, but practice can help it become less mentally taxing.

Individuals who suffer a car accident injury may require a long period of expensive medical care and rehabilitation. In order to recover costs, it could be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash. Possible damages sought in such a case could include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and property loss.

Source: CNN, "Medication slashes crash risk for drivers with ADHD, study finds", Susan Scutti, May 10, 2017

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