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Driving Tips for Those With ADHD

Just about every adult and teenager wants to drive. Having the freedom to get up and go without having to rely on anyone else is exhilarating, and also often necessary, particularly when you need to go to work.

Unfortunately, driving isn’t easy for everyone. Those who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have to overcome a variety of different obstacles when getting behind the wheel. Many of the symptoms that plague them in their everyday lives can cause difficulties when they are driving, as well.


Those who have ADHD often struggle with concentrating and staying focused on tasks, which can make driving difficult. Another symptom of the disorder is restlessness, which can make a long trip quite challenging. Driving with these impairments can increase your chances of getting into a crash.

Forget Your Phone

Driving when you have ADHD is difficult because so many things are around that can grab your attention, and when you already have problems staying focused, it can be dangerous.

The key to preventing distractions is to eliminate as many as possible. Although you can’t take all distractions away, some are easy to remove. For instance, stay off of your cell phone while you are driving. Attempting to talk and drive is difficult for anyone, but particularly those with ADHD. You may become too involved in the conversation and not give the road and driving as much attention as you should.

Texting while driving is not only illegal, but extremely dangerous. Texting requires you to take your eyes and mind off of the road, as well as at least one hand. Sending a simple text can result in major problems that can leave you and those around you injured.

The best way to eliminate the risk for distractions is to simply turn off your phone. Having your phone with you is helpful in emergencies, but leaving it off can reduce the chances of you using it or becoming distracted by it.

Drive Alone

Although it may not be feasible to do so every time, drive alone, when you can. Having passengers in the vehicle with you may make it difficult for you to focus and concentrate on the road. You may want to talk with them or look at them, and the instance you take your eyes off of what is going on in front of you, you could get into an accident.

You may also become distracted by what your passengers are doing. If they are making a lot of noise or moving around, you might take your eyes off of the road to look at them and end up in an accident. Young children can also cause you to lose focus.

To avoid these distractions, drive alone. If you can’t drive alone, be extremely selective about who you ride with. Drive with someone who knows about your disorder and who will not cause you to become distracted. Having your passengers sit in the back seat may also be helpful.

Plan Ahead

Some people with ADHD find that listening to music while driving calms them and helps their concentration. Others find the music distracting. If you want to listen to music, plan your set list ahead. Leave the radio on one station throughout the entire car trip, or only change the dial when you are stopped.

Whatever you decide to do about your music choice, make sure that it limits attention-grabbing fumbling. You don’t want to become so focused on selecting the music that you forget about what is most important: concentrating on driving.

Know Where You’re Going

That sick, desperate feeling of being lost affects everyone from time to time. If you have ADHD however, that feeling can become even more intensified and cause you to lose focus. Try your best to prevent this from happening by knowing where you are going.

Plan out your route ahead of time, and rely on more than one way to get you there. For example, enter the route on your GPS, but also have a map or some other type of backup that can help you, should the worst happen and you become lost.

The extra sense of security may help you feel more confident about where you are going, and may prevent you from getting into an accident.

Give Yourself Time

Everyone can engage in dangerous activity when they feel rushed. These behaviors include speeding, slamming on the brakes and making unwise and potentially illegal choices. Those with ADHD are often prone to engaging in this type of behavior, even when they aren’t feeling pressured by time.

Reduce the chances of getting into an accident by giving yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Doing so can make you feel less stressed about getting there and allows you to focus on driving.

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