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ADHD may make distracted driving more likely

New York drivers may be interested to know that according to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents caused 32,744 deaths across the U.S. in 2015. Distracted driving was a factor in 3,477 of those traffic fatalities. One group that may be more susceptible to distraction while driving is people who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but research indicates their crash risk is reduced when proper medication is taken.

Researchers working with the Karolinska Institutet of Sweden conducted a study beginning by examining claims against health insurance made between 2005 and 2014. They identified 2.3 million adult Americans who had been diagnosed with ADHD and compared this group with emergency room visit data to isolate 11,224 people who both had ADHD and visited an emergency room following a motor vehicle accident. Those who had filled a prescription for ADHD medication during a particular month were less likely to be involved in car accidents.

Specifically, female ADHD patients were 42 percent less likely to be in a crash when they’d recently filled a prescription and male ADHD patients were 38 percent less likely. According to an ADHD researcher who was not part of this study, some common symptoms of the disorder have previously been highlighted as contributing to distracted driving. These symptoms include making rash judgments and experiencing lapses in attention.

Distracted driving on New York roads, whatever the cause, can lead to motor vehicle accidents and injuries to drivers and passengers. Injured parties might want to consult with an attorney who has experience in personal injury law. An attorney may be able to help by visiting the scene of the accident or interviewing witnesses in order to build a case. An attorney might negotiate settlement with insurers or at-fault drivers, or the attorney may draft and file a complaint to begin a civil action.

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