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Older Adults with ADHD at Higher Car Accident Risk

Seniors  who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may have a significantly increased risk of being involved in car accidents.

A  new study finds that it is not just teens with ADHD who may be at a higher car accident risk, but also seniors between the age of 65 and 79 who may also have elevated risks as a result of their condition.  The  study focused on 2,800 seniors between the age of 65 and 79 . Out of these seniors, approximately 2.8% suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,  a condition that is categorized by high activity levels, lower attention and concentration levels and other symptoms that make it difficult for the person to concentrate and focus attention for long periods of time.

The  researchers found in their analysis that  seniors who suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder had a 74% higher risk of being involved in car accidents compared to those who were not diagnosed with ADHD. They were also much more likely to be involved in violations that result in traffic tickets with a  102% higher risk of traffic violations.  Seniors with ADHD also had a 7% higher risk of sudden braking incidents, which often lead to auto accidents.

ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that is typically diagnosed during childhood and often continues well into  adulthood.  While  symptoms like hyperactivity can be managed after diagnosis, adults with ADHD   may continue to struggle with attention and concentration deficits,  and some of these deficits may be very dangerous behind the wheel. Of all the symptoms of ADHD, it is the lack of focus and attention that may be most directly linked to the risk of car accidents and particularly the risk of sudden braking incidents.

A lack of concentration may result in the motorist failing to identify a possible threat until it is really late,  resulting  in  a sudden application of the brakes. Hyperactivity is another common symptom that can decrease concentration and attention levels, and  increase  distraction,  possibly contributing to an auto accident situation. Persons who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder also may suffer from impulsiveness which can   cause them to  undertake impulsive behaviors behind the wheel, including running of red lights and speeding.  A person who suffers from ADHD, for example, may try to cut in when it is unsafe or illegal to do so.  All  of these actions can increase a person’s risk of being involved in a car accident significantly.

With  much of the attention on drivers with ADHD tending to focus on teenagers with the condition,  it is very likely that many adults who suffer from the condition are  slipping through the cracks as far as screening and management of symptoms is concerned.  The researchers believe that there is a need for enhanced screening of older persons as well as better education about management of their symptoms.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across the state of Georgia.  If you or a loved one have suffered  injuries in car accidents, talk to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your legal options for a claim for damages.



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