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How teens with ADHD can avoid car accidents

Teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are one-third more likely to be in a car accident than those without the condition, according to a study published in 'JAMA Pediatrics." Researchers also say that individuals with ADHD tend to get their license at a later age than others. However, drivers in Iowa need not be too alarmed.

The authors of the study say that the crash risk is ultimately manageable. They also commend teens for choosing to delay getting a license as this demonstrates maturity when it comes to driver readiness. ADHD normally results in a maturational lag of three to five years, so parents should encourage their teens to wait until they are familiar with the intricacies of driving.

Even when a teen exhibits mild ADHD symptoms, he or she may still become distracted by a passenger, a cell phone ringing, or even a billboard. This is why parents also should talk to their teens about the seriousness of driving. Creating an individualized driving plan that focuses on driver education also is recommended.

The other tips that the researchers provided are common sense. Teens should take their medication and know when it tends to wear off as well as undergo behavioral therapy for severe ADHD. When driving, they should avoid rush hour traffic, take slower routes rather than highways and limit use of the radio.

Drivers must be responsible for understanding how their condition affects their driving, so when someone with ADHD causes a car accident, the victim may have the grounds to file an injury claim. This is where a lawyer can come in. He or she will assess the claim, and if it's valid, build up the case with assistance from investigators, accident reconstruction experts and other third parties. An attorney can handle all negotiations with the insurance companies.

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