ADHD Increases Risk of Fatal Car Accident for Philadelphia Teen Boys

As Philadelphia parents of teen-agers know, the nail-biting starts when you hand over the car keys and doesn’t stop until your teen arrives safely home. The day your son or daughter finally gets his Pennsylvania driver’s license and earns the right to drive solo is a long-awaited rite of passage for Philadelphia teens and a long-dreaded moment for their parents. According to the Philadelphia inquirer, 500 teen-age drivers have died on Pennsylvania highways in the last 5 years. Edith Pearce points out that, over the same time period, Philadelphia teen drivers were responsible for auto accidents that killed more than 600 people.

Statistics show that teen-aged boys are at greatest risk of being in a car accident. Driver error and distractions are the greatest cause of accidents by new drivers, boys and girls. A new report just released by Canadian researchers indicates that behavioral disorders significantly increase the risk of serious personal injury auto accidents for Philadelphia teens and young, male drivers throughout the country. See more information on auto accidents. According to a study by the University of Toronto, traffic accident risk increased by 33% in male teens who had been diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), a behavioral disorder that primarily affects males. Similar increased risk was found for teen-aged boys who suffered from epilepsy, diabetes and other disruptive behavior disorders.

“Many drivers overestimate their skills and underestimate their risks,” the study’s lead researcher, Donald Redelmeier, told Reuters in a November 16, 2010 online article. “These findings show that the increased risk might be mitigated with better awareness and treatment of ADHD.

With an accident rate twice that of the general driving population, male teens were found to be the riskiest drivers, “Teen-age male drivers involved in serious crashes can also have especially devastating outcomes related to ongoing needs for health care as well as foregone future productivity,” Redelmeier said.

Parents of Philadelphia teen drivers are urged to contact Edith Pearce at The Pearce Law Firm, PC should their teen be involved in a serious car accident.