Buckle up for the ride.

Lady Teen In Car Texting Cell PhoneTeen driving can be an anxious time for most parents. If your teen child has ADHD, you may be even more concerned. There are some important facts and tips you need to know before letting your child behind the wheel.

A new study from the University of Pennsylvania took 60 kids, aged 16 to 17, that had recently been issued a driver’s license and put them through a driving simulator.  See news video.

They found, "That the kids who reported having problems with attention, hyperactivity, and impulse control were more likely to have simulator errors and were more likely to engage in risky driving behavior, like speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in teens, and if a child has difficulty with attention, he or she may be more likely to have trouble following the rules of the road."

study published by JAMA Pediatrics, “Adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are licensed to drive less often and, when this group is licensed, they have a greater risk of crashing.”

Researchers found, “Newly licensed drivers with ADHD had a 36 percent higher first crash risk than those without ADHD.”

Your teenager may have more difficulty being a safe driver due to many of the symptoms of ADHD. Distractibility, inattention, impulsivity, and risk-taking behaviors can all contribute to unsafe driving practices. These concerns should be discussed and addressed prior to your child getting behind the wheel.

Play Attention can help your teen develop the skills necessary to be safer on the road.  Play Attention improves attention, impulse control, processing, memory and more! Register for a free professional consultation to learn how we can help.

Additude Magazine has provided many good driving tips for ADHD teens and adults. Here are just a few:

Enroll in a defensive driving course.
Limit distraction.
Make things right before you drive.
Always use cruise control.
Use GPS wisely.
Get a copilot.

See entire article…

Having a driving contract with your teen is also a great idea. Rules such as where your child is allowed to drive, curfews, safety regulations, and authorized passengers should be included. You should also include a clear list of consequences for infractions and rewards for safe practices. See tips for developing your contract here.

Knowing your child's strengths and weaknesses will help you better prepare them for a safer driving experience.