Handing any teenager the keys to a vehicle can be a nerve-wracking experience, let alone a teen with ADHD.
Indeed, people of all ages with ADHD are 4 times more likely to receive a moving violation ticket, 2 times more likely to get into an accident , and 50% more likely to get into a serious accident involving injury.
Thankfully, there’s a lot we can do to minimize inattentiveness behind the wheel
Special classes exist to train people on how to become more conscious of obstacles on the road, and build instincts to drive around them in safe, accident minimizing ways. They’re called defensive driving classes, and ADHD adults and teenagers should invest in them to learn these skills on autopilot. Parents should consider making these classes mandatory in exchange for the privilege of a teenager using their vehicle.
People with ADHD need to find engaging ways to stay connected to the experience of driving. Researchers have found that adolescent teens are more attentive and conscious of the road when driving a manual transmission vehicle. This may be the perfect excuse your son has been looking for to get that manual transmission car (and this time, he may actually be right).
Who hasn’t missed a critical turn, or gone in the wrong direction for miles? With ADHD it’s likely a common occurrence. Thankfully with satellite guidance in the form of GPS, there’s no need to go down the wrong road — unconsciously — ever again. Get in the habit of putting your phone on GPS mode for trips of any length, and you’ll make a lot less of those mistakes.
Sometimes symptoms of ADHD are so severe that the best option is to hand the driving to someone else. Carpooling and public transportation are becoming more viable options in some parts of the country. They also make getting around less stressful and more enjoyable. See what options are available, and consider making it part of your own schedule.