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How ADHD medication can affect driver safety

Mississippi residents with concerns about distracted driving should be aware of a JAMA Psychiatry study that shows ADHD medication greatly reduces the chances a driver with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder will get in a car accident. The study examined more than 2.3 million Americans and demonstrated that up to 22.1 percent of car crashes may not have happened if the drivers had received ADHD medication.

ADHD is a disorder with core symptoms that include inattention and impulsivity, two factors that may greatly interfere with a person's ability to drive safely. The study found that 83.9 percent of the drivers with ADHD received at least a single prescription for ADHD medication. Researchers then looked at emergency room visits resulting from car accidents that occurred while the patients were behind the wheel. The study found that the risk of getting into a car accident was much higher during months when patients did not refill their prescriptions. However, when they were presumably medicated, their risk was much lower. Female ADHD patients had a 42 percent lower risk of getting into a car accident when they were medicated and male ADHD patients had a 38 percent lower risk.

Although medication may help eliminate crash risks, some patients do not want to take their pills. An assistant professor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Department at Florida International University stated that there is a general trend of patients choosing not to take their medication because they do not like the way it makes them feel.

Someone who has been injured in a car accident should consider working with an attorney experienced in negligence and personal injury. Legal counsel could help prove that a distracted driver was at fault for an accident. This may lead to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. In the event of an injury resulting in a need for physical therapy, compensation may also include transportation to and from appointments.

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