Teen Drivers with ADHD Symptoms Have More Risky Driving Behaviors

Published on in CHOP News

Female teenager behind the steering wheel of a car New research conducted by Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) senior fellow Catherine McDonald, PhD, RN, FAAN, finds drivers with ADHD symptoms are more likely to be involved in a crash. The findings were published in the journal Nursing Research.

Dr. McDonald and her team recruited drivers aged 16 to 17 years old. The drivers were asked to complete a questionnaire which assessed their symptoms of ADHD and other mental health disorders. Following the questionnaire, the teens were then asked to go for a virtual drive in the CIRP Driving Simulator Core. Dr. McDonald found the more inattention symptoms a teen reported, the more mistakes they would make in the driving simulator.

“We would like to learn more about the relationship of mental health symptoms to driving behavior in a sample with higher rates and severity of ADHD so we can examine the impact of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity symptom severity across the full range of these dimensions,” says McDonald That next step could help move the research toward its ultimate goal: tailoring interventions for teens drivers at risk in different ways.

Read more about the research.