ADHD + Teen + Driving = Danger

Did you know that you’re not fully grown up until you’re 25?

That’s right!  Your brain keeps growing well past the time you reach your full height.  Studies by the National Institute of Health and UCLA show that the risk assessment area of the brain isn’t fully developed until age 25.

Teen drivers at risk

So it shouldn’t be a surprise then, teen drivers are at risk when driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teens are only 7% of licensed drivers, yet they account for 14% of fatal collisions.  In 2003, 3,657 teen drivers were killed, and an additional 308,000 were injured in crashes (Source:  AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety).  Put another way,  that means a 16 year old is twice as likely to have an accident as someone in their 80s!

The property damage costs of teen driver accidents is staggering – over $31 billion each year.

ADHD teens – an even greater driving risk

A few sobering facts about ADHD teens and driving. When compared to other teens…

  1. ADHD teen drivers are seven times as likely to have been in 2 or more accidents.
  2. ADHD teen drivers are two times as likely to have a speeding ticket.
  3. ADHD teen drivers are five times as likely to have a traffic citation.
  4. ADHD teen drivers are four times as likely to have been in an injury accident.
  5. ADHD teen drivers are four times as likely to have been at fault for the accident they were in.

Families of ADHD teen drivers have a higher risk of:

  1. Serious injury or death of their child,
  2. Property damage,
  3. Higher health care costs,
  4. More involvement with legal and liability issues, and
  5. Higher motor vehicle insurance rates.

Do we keep ADHD teens from driving?

Of course not! Driving is an important rite of passage in this country. It gives freedom and responsibility to our young adults and helps families manage complicated schedules.  BUT…

There are things you can do to keep yourself (or your teen) safe in the early years of becoming a skilled driver.  Next time we’ll show you how.

Have questions about ADHD teens and driving?  Ask them here, and we’ll do our best to answer them in a future post.

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