Teens with ADHD

Texting, Driving, ADHD: Danger Ahead

Texting while driving can be disastrous for teens on the road — adding attention deficit to the mix is an accident waiting to happen.

Person feeling overwhelmed and using phone while driving
Someone using phone while driving hands on wheel

Researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center who road-tested the performance of teens — half of whom were diagnosed with ADHD — on a driving simulator found that texting while driving significantly affected speed and lane position of the ADHD drivers.

“Texting is especially dangerous because it involves visual, manual, and cognitive distractions,” says senior author Jeffery N. Epstein, Ph.D., director of the Center for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder at Cincinnati Children’s. “Those are the kinds of distractions that lead to car accidents.”

The study found that even when no distractions were present, drivers with ADHD showed more variability in speed and lane position than did teens without ADHD. Researchers report that texting added to existing ADHD driving impairments, essentially doubling the amount of times kids with and without ADHD strayed from their lane.