Driving Under the Influence... of ADHD

Studies reveal that drivers with attention deficit disorder can be distracted, impulsive, and unsafe -- if they don't take extra steps to reduce dangers. Here's how.

seatbelt, driving, rules of the road

Studies show that adults with ADHD drive as though they are intoxicated, even if they have had no alcohol. Follow these guidelines when driving:

> If your ADHD is moderate to severe, take your ADHD medication before driving.

> If you’re not taking medication, or if there’s a chance it has worn off, let someone else drive.

> Always wear your seat belt. Put a sticky note on your dashboard or over the ignition to remind yourself to do it.

> Don’t consume a drop of alcohol before driving. Period. Adults with ADHD are more adversely affected by even low doses of alcohol than are drivers without ADHD.

> Stay off your cell phone and PDA. Adults with ADHD do not need extra distraction. If you must text or answer a call or an e-mail, pull off the road.

Excerpted from Taking Charge of Adult ADHD, by Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., with Christine M. Benton. Copyright 2010. Reprinted with permission of Guilford Press.


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