Is an ADHD Teen More Likely to Cause an Accident?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is more common in the United States than people might think. While most know how it affects a person’s work abilities and even performance in school, very few understand how ADHD could impact a person’s driving.

With the number of ADHD patients rising in the United States, more researchers are focusing their efforts toward discovering how this condition affects a person’s safety behind the wheel. The results of a few recent studies were concerning.

ADHD Increases Risk of Accident

According to a few studies, a driver with ADHD is more likely to cause an accident than a driver without ADHD.

How Does ADHD Cause More Accidents?

Drivers with ADHD, including those on medication, are dangerous drivers simply because of how their condition affects their judgement and reasoning skills.

For starters, ADHD causes attention issues; therefore, a person with ADHD cannot focus as easily as a person without ADHD. When it is untreated, a loss of focus, hyperactivity, and impaired judgment are worsened. Those with the hyperactivity side-effect of ADHD also are at an increased risk for taking on risky behaviors, such as speeding or other reckless acts, behind the wheel.

This reckless behavior is because the driver cannot distinguish his or her actions from what is reasonable, right, or wrong. They are prone to more aggressive driving spells, as well.

Can a Person Escape Liability if ADHD Caused the Accident?

ADHD is a medically recognized condition, but it is not an excuse for someone to escape liability.

When someone has a medical condition and knows about it, he or she is required by law to ensure that the condition does not affect his or her driving or the safety of others. Individuals have a duty to protect the public; therefore, if the condition causes reckless driving and the driver is aware of that, then he or she should not drive.

There is an exception to this rule, however. If a person does not know that he or she has a medical condition, and that condition leads to an accident, then the courts may not consider him or her liable. It is possible for a person to have ADHD and not be diagnosed. However, more patients are diagnosed early on due to screenings at pediatric appointments. And, does not mean that many are driving out there with undiagnosed ADHD. Usually, individuals would most likely be aware that they have some sort of condition.

Conversely, using a medical condition as an excuse could even harm the defendant’s case, especially if the condition was diagnosed and he or she refused to take medications or failed to follow treatment protocols designed by the physician.

Were You Injured by a Distracted Driver?

Whether that driver was distracted because of ADHD or other reasons, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. To explore your options for compensation, contact the accident team at Jacobs Law, LLC today.