Teens with ADHD more prone to car crashes

May 4, 2007 at 4:06 PM
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., May 4 (UPI) -- Distractions such as using a cell phone could lead to a car crash, especially for young U.S. drivers with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

As a group, young ADHD drivers are two to four times more likely to have a car accident than non-ADHD drivers, according to Daniel Cox, of the University of Virginia Health System.

Cox's research has compared long-acting methylphenidate, known as MPH, to extended-release amphetamine salts and found that MPH is more effective in helping young ADHD drivers pay attention.

In Cox's latest study, the researchers want to determine the MPH affects routine, daily driving of teens with ADHD.

"In controlled laboratory studies, there are no cell phones, no pressures to get home before curfew, no passengers encouraging the driver to 'get air,' no pets that slip from the driver's lap down to the pedals and no hamburger dripping with mustard in the driver's right hand," Cox said in a statement. "We want to investigate the benefits of medication in the context of such real world distractions and demands."

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