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Medication may keep drivers with ADHD from accidents

After consulting health insurance claims from 2005 through 2014, authors of a study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that more than 2.3 million drivers older than 18 have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Residents of Louisiana will want to consider the conclusions and what they might mean for other drivers.

First of all, nearly 84 percent of these drivers received at least one prescription for ADHD medication. By comparing the crash risk on months when prescriptions were filled to crash risk on months when they were not, authors discovered that the latter was higher. This was based on the number of emergency room visits among ADHD drivers. The result was compared to those of a control group, composed of drivers matched for age and sex but without ADHD.

In particular, males had a 38 percent lower risk of getting in crashes when medicated, while females had a 42 percent lower risk. However, there are limitations, as the authors themselves acknowledge. The study does not take into account fatalities or minor collisions, and the fact that a prescription was filled does not mean the medication was taken. Experts say that medication may not even be necessary beyond childhood, as motorists will exhibit less symptoms of ADHD once they are used to driving.

While there may not be changes in the traffic laws to regulate driving with ADHD, there will always be laws to ensure that victims get the compensation they need when drivers with ADHD cause car crashes. A lawyer representing an injured victim can assess the validity of the claim and hire accident reconstruction experts and investigators to find proof of the other driver's negligence. The lawyer can then negotiate for a settlement with the insurance companies or take the case to court if an agreement cannot be reached.

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