Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Car Accident / New Study Addresses Link Between ADHD and Car Crashes Among Older Drivers

New Study Addresses Link Between ADHD and Car Crashes Among Older Drivers


For quite some time, researchers have pointed to potential driving hazards that are particular to older adult drivers. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), it is critical to recognize that, “as we age . . . mental reaction, situational awareness, vision, and motor controls may not be as sharp as they once were.” Indeed, older adults may not have the same quick reaction times as younger drivers, poor eyesight can make it difficult to see at night, and certain medical conditions — for which many older adults regularly take medications — can lead to forms of fatigue and impairment behind the wheel. All of these issues are well-documented, and statistics from the NSC confirm that drivers aged 75 and older are at particular risk of being involved in a collision because of these factors.

At the same time, a common condition that affects motorists of all ages — attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD — could also play a factor. A study conducted by researchers at Columbia University suggests that ADHD is often underdiagnosed in older adults, and that it can often be a causal factor, or at least a significant factor, in auto accidents. Our Richmond car accident attorneys can explain in more detail.

Research on ADHD and Older Adults Reveals Driving Risks 

According to the study, most research on ADHD focuses on children and younger adults, including teenagers and respective driving risks. However, with this new study, researchers assessed older adults with diagnosed ADHD and with indications of ADHD in connection with driving dangers. The study ultimately determined that “older adult drivers were more than twice as likely as their counterparts without ADHD to report being involved in . . . vehicular crashes.” To be sure, for older drivers between the ages of 65 and 79 with ADHD, the study found “a 7 percent increased risk of hard-braking events” and “a 74 percent increased risk of self-reported vehicular crashes.”

Although many people assume ADHD is a condition that largely affects younger people, the study emphasizes that “it can persist into adulthood and affect daily life performances of older adults.” In recent years, medical professionals have better diagnosed older adults with ADHD, as well. The condition is characterized by “inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity,” regardless of a person’s age. Those symptoms can play a role in a motorist’s distraction behind the wheel, as well as likelihood of engaging in certain risky driving behaviors.

Contact a Richmond Car Accident Lawyer Today for Assistance 

Determining liability in any car accident case can often be complex, especially when there are complicating factors, such as the age of a driver or medical conditions impacting the ability to drive safely. In some cases, not only is a motorist at fault for a collision, but other parties could also bear some responsibility.

If you were recently involved in a crash — whether you are an older driver yourself or the other party was an older motorist — it is important to discuss the particular facts of your case with an experienced attorney. One of the experienced Richmond car accident lawyers at Latham & Martin can assess your case today and discuss options with you for seeking compensation through an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit. Contact us for additional information.




Facebook Twitter LinkedIn