by Lacy Compton
Did you know that having ADHD increases a teen's risk of a car accident to two to four times that of his or her peers (a level, shockingly, that's a higher risk rate than an adult driving under the influence of alcohol)?
It's a statistic that surprised me, too. It's also one that prompted one ADHD researcher to offer some tips to parents of teens with ADHD to help gauge whether their son or daughter is ready to drive. In her article, Flaura Koplin Winston provides several practical questions for parents to ask themselves before helping their child get behind the wheel.
The authors of Raising Boys With ADHD and Raising Girls With ADHD have also noted several statistics like this one in their books, offering up their own practical advice for parents of teens with ADHD, among which includes the creation of a safe driving contract that should be posted in the vehicle at all times--a visual reminder to teens of the rules they should be following while on the road. They also recommend that teens not be allowed to drive with friends in the car until they have proven they can be safe on the road. Then, they suggest, allow your teen to drive one close friend, as long as he or she continues to remain a safe driver.
If you have a teen or preteen with ADHD, be sure to check out Dr. Winston's tips--you'll be thankful you did!