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Proper medication lowers crash risk for drivers with ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a condition characterized by the inability to pay attention, poor impulse control and hyperactivity. A study published by "JAMA Psychiatry" has reviewed the records of over 2.3 million drivers diagnosed with ADHD. As Oklahoma motorists might expect, the research shows that accidents are less frequent among ADHD drivers who take medication than those who do not.

Furthermore, the authors estimate that as many as 22.1 percent of the recorded car accidents could have been prevented if the drivers were medicated. The study used health insurance claims spanning the years 2005 through 2014 and took into account the number of emergency room visits that drivers made. Authors of the study admit that this is a limitation as the findings exclude both fatal accidents and minor crashes requiring no medical attention.

Drivers with ADHD are more prone to text, talk on the phone and eat while driving. Stimulants can aid in sharpening drivers' attention; however, experts say there can be a rebound effect when symptoms return with greater force after the medication wears off. Many ADHD drivers may also be especially distracted by other passengers in the car.

Some doctors question the need for ADHD medication beyond childhood. They state that ADHD symptoms recede as driving becomes less taxing and that supervision from parents is what's most needed for young drivers.

If someone causes a car accident, the victim could have good grounds for an injury claim. This is where legal counsel often comes in. A lawyer can hire investigators to reconstruct the accident scene and research the defendant's medical history. The attorney can then initiate negotiations with the other party's insurance company. If successful, a settlement might cover medical expenses, vehicle damage, lost wages and future lost income.

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