Few things in life require more attention than safely operating a motor vehicle. Those suffering with ADHD more frequently run out of gas, and also are four times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. It’s also not surprising that an ADHD driver has a higher incidence of speeding tickets than the general population. Here are 7 tips every ADHD driver should think about before they get behind the wheel:
- Medication Dosage Form and Consumption Time – Generally a long acting medication is preferred because it doesn’t have the “peaks and valleys” in blood levels that the short acting medications do. Long acting medications also offer the convenience of once daily dosing so there is less opportunities to miss a dose. If an ADHD person does plenty of extensive driving at night, the challenge with the long acting medications is to take them at a “strategic time “ to have adequate blood levels during peak driving times, but lower levels at bedtime to prevent insomnia. Patience is a virtue here. It may take several adjustments in consumption times to find the “sweet spot “ for consumption. Being a pharmacist, I would suggest adjusting consumption times not sooner then every 5 days to allow your body to properly adjust.
- Carpooling – Not advisable if several children are in the car. All adults in the car is much safer for the ADHD driver because you presume there will be fewer distractions while on the road.
- Radio Listening – Pull off to side of road for all station changes and CD exchanges. If backseat drivers are present and listening to audio or video broadcasts, make sure the volume is low enough that it doesn’t distract you.
- Frequent toll road drivers – Signup for Express Pass to avoid the “wild goose chase“ of searching for change at the toll booth.
- Use GPS – A GPS navigation system that gives auditory commands will help minimize time spent looking at the map and distracted driving.
- Pull over – When eating or drinking, pull off the side of the road. The food and beverage will be more enjoyable and you won’t have to concentrate on driving.
- Cell phone usage – Currently a “hot topic” for everyone and is magnified in the ADHD population. Pull off to the side of the road to handle all calls and texts. There is no call or text worth risking someone else’s life, or your own.