It would not surprise people to learn that teen drivers have an increased risk for causing an accident than a more experienced adult driver would. In general, a person cannot get a driver’s license until the age of 16. These drivers in their teens are simply inexperienced, but inexperience is not the only factor in teen accident risk.
One study says that a specific subset of teen drivers is two to four times more likely to become involved in a car accident than other teens. Those that suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — more commonly known as ADHD — have more trouble with driving in part due to inattention and impulsiveness.
When a driver takes their eyes off the road for even two seconds, it significantly increases the risk that they will cause an accident. It is not just the inability to keep constant attention on the roads that makes teens with the disorder more likely to crash. The inattentiveness can also make it more difficult to learn during driver’s education.
Not only does inattentiveness play a role when it comes to increasing their crash risk, but the disorder can also make teens more impulsive. Teens suffering from ADHD are more likely to driver aggressively or make jerkier movements that are difficult for other drivers to predict.
The study found that teens with ADHD increase their accident risk, but this risk was compared to the risk posed by an intoxicated adult. The shocking conclusion made by researchers was that the risk for accidents was higher with the teens.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “Study: ADHD teen drivers run higher crash risk,” March 27, 2012