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A study recently published in the medical publication Nursing Research suggests certain mental health conditions contribute to risky and potentially dangerous driving behaviors among teen drivers. The study assessed how teens with symptoms of certain mental health conditions performed on controlled driving simulators – with interesting results.
Teens with symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention related to ADHD and conduct disorder had higher scores for risky driving. Conversely, teens with higher scores for symptoms of depression had fewer driving errors in the simulator. Researchers hope that knowing more about what contributes to distracted driving and risky driving behaviors can help teens stay safe behind the wheel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. In 2015 alone, more than 2,333 young adults between the ages of 16-19 were fatally injured and more than 235,800 went to the emergency room with injuries caused by auto accidents.
Inexperienced drivers are more likely to underestimate a dangerous situation and less likely to identify potential hazards while driving. Teens also have the lowest rate of seatbelt use compared to other age groups. They are also more likely to speed, use a cell phone while driving, and tailgate the car ahead of them. Compound the inherent risks of being a newly-licensed driver with mental health issues and the danger to teens and their passengers’ only increases.
Teens involved in the study with high self-rated scores for ADHD and related symptoms demonstrated more risky driving behaviors. Researchers believe teens with ADHD-related hyperactivity and impulsivity have inherent challenges with self-control that may contribute to distracted driving.
Teens with conduct disorder may use their inherent tendency to violate basic social rules and the rights of others as a chance to express anger or take advantage of a situation. When this happens in a real-world driving scenario, the results can be dangerous. Interestingly enough – the parents’ assessment of their teens’ self-reported mental health symptoms and risky driving behaviors did not correlate. Parents may not be as engaged with their teen’s development and decision-making as they believe.
It is not always teens who put others at risk by distracted driving and risky driving. There are negligent and careless drivers of all ages. A serious car accident can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially. If you or a family member has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the South Jersey personal injury law firm of Folkman Law Offices, P.C. We focus on getting the justice and compensation you deserve so you can focus on recovery. We will advocate for you when dealing with the other party, insurance companies, and at trial if necessary.
To discuss your accident with a skilled, experienced South Jersey car accident lawyer at Folkman Law Offices, P.C., call 856-354-9444 or contact us online today to arrange a free consultation. We have office locations in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia to serve clients throughout the greater Philadelphia and South Jersey areas.