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Making ADHD teens better drivers
Date:1/24/2011

can make individuals as bad as drunk drivers or worse.

"It's hard to turn on the TV or open a newspaper or magazine without seeing something about the risks of texting and driving," Fabiano says. "Because cell phones only have been around for a while, this is a recent phenomenon. And only in the past five years have text messages and texting been something we all have on our phones and in our pocket, so it's really a new distracter that teens now entering the roadway are having.

"In our research, we have yet to have somebody be a successful texter while driving, and that includes our internal staff and me," Fabiano explains. "Texting while driving impairs driving to the extent where there are deviations in the lane, on the shoulder, people spinning out, they lose control, and it's not hard to extrapolate that if that sort of thing happened on a real road, you could have hit a pedestrian, another car, a bad accident."

Fabiano says the significant conclusion of this part of his research is how the teenagers who lose control of the simulated vehicle while texting often do not realize their ability to drive was severely compromised.

"We have found teens with ADHD are like children with ADHD in that they have poor insight on the impact of their behavior on others," Fabiano says. "So most of the teens we work with think they can easily text while driving without any poor consequences."

Fabiano's five-year NIH study began in April. It focuses on ADHD teenage drivers with learner's permits. The teens practice on the driving simulator and are given an onboard driving monitor to track driving behaviors, giving parents and teens the chance to review their driving performance and interactions.

The goal of the study is develop a driver education program targeted to ADHD teens and their parents.


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Contact: Charles Anzalone
anzalon@buffalo.edu
716-645-4600
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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