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How medication for drivers with ADHD can prevent crashes

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a chronic condition that millions in the U.S. suffer from. Drivers in Georgia should know that a recent study published in "JAMA Psychiatry" analyzed the records of more than 2.3 million drivers with ADHD.

The study's authors found that almost 84 percent of the drivers received at least a single prescription for ADHD medication. They then compared the crash risk on months when prescriptions were filled to the crash risk on months when they were not. The researchers concluded that drivers who receive medication for their ADHD have a lower risk for car accidents and that up to 22.1 percent of crashes could have been prevented if the drivers were taking medication. Specifically, males had a 38 percent lower risk for crashes, and females had a 42 percent lower risk.

The results of the study are, as the authors admit, limited. Their data is based on the 11,224 drivers who visited emergency rooms following a car accident. The study did not include fatalities or minor crashes requiring no medical attention.

While ADHD helps create distracted drivers, some experts believe that nothing drastic is needed to prevent accidents. Parents should supervise their teens before getting a license, and the symptoms of ADHD, such as short attention spans, can be controlled without medication as driving becomes less stressful.

If a driver with ADHD texts or talks on the phone while driving and causes a motor vehicle accident because of it, he or she will be held liable for any harm done to the other driver. The victim could hire an attorney to determine how much a claim might be worth; medical bills, vehicle damage and lost wages can all be factored in. The lawyer may then hire investigators to build up the case and negotiate for a settlement with the insurance companies.

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