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Medication helps lower car crash risk for ADHD patients

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by inattention and impulsivity. These core symptoms can interfere with one's driving, which is why ADHD patients tend to run a high risk for car crashes. Florida motorists should know about a study published in JAMA Psychiatry back in 2017 that shows how ADHD medication can help lower that risk.

Data included the health insurance claims, spanning the years 2005 to 2014, of more than 2.3 million people aged 18 and older who were diagnosed with ADHD. More than 1.9 million had received at least one prescription for ADHD medication. Researchers compared the number of crash-related emergency room visits that occurred when drivers were medicated to the number when no prescription had been filled.

Furthermore, they compared the results with an age-matched and sex-matched control group of drivers without ADHD. In all, 11,224 ADHD patients had visited the emergency room after an accident and had a higher risk than the control group. Researchers say about 22 percent of crashes could have been avoided with medication. Medication lowers the risk by 38 percent for males and 42 percent for females.

However, the study has its limits. For example, it does not count fatal accidents or less severe collisions. Some believe that the best solution is actually to get ADHD patients to practice driving early and under supervision.

ADHD can lead to distracted driving, which is behind nearly 3,500 car crash deaths every year in the U.S. It's a form of negligent driving, but someone who incurs a personal injury because of a negligent driver can rest assured that they will be eligible for damages. With legal assistance, a victim could strive for the maximum possible settlement.

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