On numerous occasions, we have addressed the very sad fact that the number one killer of teenagers is automobile accidents. And for drivers of all ages, the number one contributing factor to automobile accidents is inattention.
A growing number of American teenagers with attention disorders like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and Asperger Syndrome are applying for their driver’s licenses, only to fail their driving test time and time again.
A 2007 study by Russell A. Barkley of the Medical University of South Carolina and Daniel J. Cox of the University of Virginia Health System concluded that young drivers with ADHD are 2 to 4 times as likely as those without the condition to have a car accident — meaning that they are at a higher risk of crashing the car than an adult who is legally drunk.
It is possible for teenagers with attention and learning disorders to become safe, skilled drivers; however, it is likely to take more time and more effort than it takes for drivers without those conditions. Some, however, may be better off not driving until they are older – or not at all.
The fact that driving is such a “busy” activity these days has certainly made matters worse. It’s easy for any driver to become distracted by cell phones, iPods, bluetooth devices – let alone drivers already prone to distraction and inattention.
If you are the parent of a young person with ADHD, consider delaying your child’s driver education until they are more mature, have a better grasp of their limitations, perhaps get necessary medications under control, and so on. If you are a young person with ADHD, Safety 1st is committed to patiently and thoroughly instructing you – and working with your parents – to help you reach your goal of passing your DMV exam and becoming a safe and skilled Orange County driver.