ADHD Behind the Wheel: Teaching Attention Deficit Teens to Drive

ADHD symptoms can easily get in the way of safe driving for attention deficit teens and adults. Find out how to keep your child (and yourself!) safe on the road.

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ADHD Driver Safety Tips

Lambert and other experts say that people with ADHD should take special care when driving, particularly by limiting distractions. Some of the safeguards they recommended:

-- Acknowledge that you have a disorder that may impact your driving skills. Like all drivers, people with ADHD need to make sure they are focused on the task. Unlike other drivers, they may need extra help to do so.

-- No cellular phone use while driving. ADHD drivers with cell phones should keep the phone off to stop incoming calls, restrict phone use to emergencies, and at the very least should pull over whenever making a call. Never take notes while driving.

-- Limit music sources and choices. Some ADHD drivers find music helps them concentrate. Others find it distracting. Whatever the case, choose a music source that limits attention-grabbing fumbling. Use only pre-set radio stations, and if using a tape or CD player, carry only one CD or tape per trip to eliminate the temptation to search through a stack of them while driving.

-- Drive without passengers, or choose passengers carefully. Passengers can be extremely distracting, particularly when ADHD teens drive with friends or ADHD parents drive with young children. Have your passengers ride in the back seat, if possible, to minimize distracting interactions.

-- Plan trips ahead, and leave yourself plenty of time. Organizing your trip beforehand allows you to focus on the task of driving, rather than on directions. In addition, if you don't get lost, you're less likely to be in a rush which can lead to speeding or running red lights. If you must consult a map, pull over to the side of the road to read it. Avoid impulsively deciding to drive somewhere without organizing where you are headed and how you are going to get there.


More on Raising ADHD Teens

Inside the Mind of a Teenage Boy with ADHD

School Accommodations for ADHD Teens

Behavior Therapy 101

More About ADHD Teens...

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