Research Reveals Risks of Texting Among ADHD-Prone Teen Drivers

Posted on August 13, 2013

A new study sought to establish some sort of link between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and texting and driving as well as to identify how big of a threat texting poses to both those who do and those who do not suffer from the condition.

The research was made available yesterday in the JAMA Pediatrics journal and hails from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.  Researchers analyzed the driving habits of teens with ADHD and those without while they were strapped into a simulator for ten minutes at a time.  Their driving events were broken down into three separate tests:  driving without distraction, driving while texting, and driving while talking on a phone.

Those teens who did not have ADHD swerved out of their lane .7% of the time when they weren’t distracted by texting, but texting increased that number to more than 2%.  Among those who had ADHD and were not taking medication for it, 1.76% of undistracted time took place outside of the lanes, a number that rose to 3.3% when texting.  Speed also tended to fluctuate more rapidly among those with ADHD than did the other drivers.

The worry among some is that persons with ADHD who don’t take medication for it will be more inclined to answer a text that comes through.  The research didn’t confirm or deny that this was the case.  The report at the link above does note that ADHD sufferers also tend to have higher rates of citations and accidents.

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