On the Road: Driving challenges for teens and adults with ADD

Distracted driving is a problem all across the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “In 2017 alone, 3,166 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.” If staying focused on the road is a challenge for all drivers, imagine what it’s like for adults with ADD

The NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”

Texting while driving

According to MechanicFaq.com, texting while driving is now banned in 48 as well as in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is of special concern because it takes 5 seconds to send or even just read a text. That might not sound like much time, but if you’re on the highway traveling at a conservative 55 mph, the NHTSA reports, “that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.”

On the Road: Driving challenges for teens and adults with ADD


A study into the driving behavior of adults with ADHD was conducted in 2015 at the University of Nottingham. Conclusions from the study indicate that the challenge of regulating and controlling impulsive behavior typical of adult ADD, leads to:

  • Higher rates of speeding
  • Frustration with other road users
  • Less safety when changing lanes 
  • Greater risk of an accident following an unexpected event 

Getting Behind the Wheel with Adult ADD 

According to ADDitude magazine, additional studies have shown that adults with ADD drive as if they had been drinking. To help keep you and your loved ones safe on the road, the magazine offered these tips for drivers:  

  • If your adults ADHD/ADD is in the moderate to severe range, be sure to take your medication before getting behind the wheel.
  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Put your cellphone away! If you simply must answer a call or text, pull off to the side of the road first.

Do you have strategies that help you stay focused when you’re driving? Let us know what works for you. If you need help developing successful strategies to help you deal with this and the other challenges associated with ADD in adults, the Sachs Center is here for you. ADD/ADHD treatment in NYC is available at the Sachs Center, a preeminent center of therapy and neurofeedback for ADHD as well as adult ADD testing.