Are Sufferers of ADHD At Higher Risk of South Carolina Auto Accidents?

January 24, 2017

For many people who suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or who know someone who does, it probably seems like a very simple conclusion to come to that such a disorder might put a person at greater risk of getting into a South Carolina auto accident. Well, if you think so, then you are absolutely right; and now, there is evidence to prove it. This evidence was published by JAMA Psychiatry, which indicated that a person with ADHD who drives has a 50 percent greater chance of getting into an accident than a driver who does not have this condition.

What Puts ADHD Sufferers At Greater Risk of a South Carolina Auto Accident?

The best way to understand why people who suffer from ADHD have a 50% greater chance of being in an auto accident is to discuss the specific symptoms of the diagnosis. Someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD has been diagnosed based on the presence of the following symptoms, which you might recognize as also being common causes of auto accidents, even when the driver does not have ADHD:

  • Tendency towards distractibility
  • General inattentiveness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Tendency toward impulsive behaviors

You probably recognize that first one as a primary issue in distracted driving accidents. Anyone can become distracted, but someone with ADHD is especially prone to this. Add in the likelihood of technology, like cell phones, being involved, then consider the potential of passenger distractions, food distractions, grooming distractions, and more; and you can see why someone who is already prone to distraction due to this disorder would be at greater risk.

Next, consider the general inattentiveness aspect of ADHD. It is essential to pay close attention to the road and traffic around you when you are driving. If you are prone to being inattentive to what’s going on around you, then you are far more likely to get into an auto accident. If you have difficulty concentrating, in general, then you’re going to have difficulty concentrating on the road.

Finally, a tendency toward impulsive behaviors is not a great thing to have on the road, either. Someone with ADHD might make such impulsive decisions as deciding to go when it would be better to wait, suddenly changing lanes, without thinking about the potential consequences (perhaps after realizing that inattentiveness and difficulty concentrating has caused the person to forget to change lanes in time), or even making poor decisions based on frustration in heavy traffic.

Precautions for Drivers Who Have ADHD to Prevent South Carolina Auto Accidents

It is important to note that this does not indicate that someone with ADHD cannot also be a safe and responsible driver. It simply means that those who know or suspect that they suffer from this disorder must take additional precautions to remain safe on the road. Many of the precautions that someone with ADHD should take are the same precautions that everyone should take, like not texting while driving. However, these precautions extend beyond those of someone without ADHD and are that much more essential if you know that you have symptoms of this disorder.

One example of a precaution that ADHD sufferers need to take, that other drivers generally do not, is to always take their medication as directed. Any driver who requires medication for any purpose should do the same, but for drivers with ADHD, this could greatly minimize their risk of causing a South Carolina auto accident due to the symptoms of inattentiveness, distractibility, difficulty concentrating, and impulsiveness. The medications prescribed for ADHD are intended to minimize such symptoms.

Another precaution (as mentioned above) that all should take, but is especially important for those with ADHD, is to eliminate as many distractions as possible. This means that you should turn off your phone when you’re driving, so it doesn’t even make a sound. Simply ignoring it could help, but not hearing the sound at all will avoid the distraction and minimize the temptation to impulsively check the phone for any calls or messages that are coming through.

Further, you can minimize distractions by attempting to be well prepared before entering your vehicle. Do your grooming before you drive. Eat before you drive. Otherwise, pull over if you must communicated, groom, eat, or engage in any other potentially distracting activity. If you need to use a navigation system, choose one that is verbal, so you can program it before you start driving, and you don’t have to look away from the road to see the directions that you need.

When Should You Contact a South Carolina Auto Accident Attorney?

Any time you have been in an auto accident in South Carolina, you would be wise to contact an attorney for advice and guidance on the steps ahead of you. If you think that your ADHD may have contributed to the accident, then it is essential to have legal guidance. If you think that your ADHD had nothing to do with it, but that you might be blamed simply because you have this diagnosis, then it is even more important to have legal guidance. Contact the skilled South Carolina car wreck attorneys at the Connell Law Firm to schedule a free consultation.