It is common knowledge that fatigued or drowsy driving increases the risk of a crash. Unfortunately, drowsiness is a symptom of several medical conditions and a side effect of many prescription medications. For this reason, medications that cause drowsiness typically have a warning label, cautioning patients against driving or operating heavy machinery while on the drug. But what about other medical conditions that increase the risk of having an accident? New studies have revealed that conditions from Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to restless leg syndrome may impact an individual’s ability to drive safely. Contact a Boston Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Today.
Medical Conditions That Increase the Risk of a Crash
ADHD: Up until recently, ADHD was not commonly associated with an increased risk of motor vehicle accident. However, new research has shown that the link may be significant. Between 2006 and 2010, a Swedish study examined 17,000 men and women with ADHD, as well as a group without the disorder. The results revealed that approximately 6.5% of male drivers with ADHD and 4% of female drivers with ADHD had been involved in at least one crash, compared to only 2% of those without the disorder. However, it is important to note that the risk of crash is reduced by about 58% when subjects with ADHD take proper medication. As one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders in young people, this is of significant concern. Although individuals with ADHD may have a tendency to be impulsive or easily distracted, it is not yet clear if these are the causes of the increased accident risk.
Pregnancy: Being pregnant significantly increases a woman’s risk of being involved in a traffic accident. This risk is especially high during the second trimester. In fact, the risk of a serious accident increases by 42% during the middle months of pregnancy. Although research isn’t entirely clear on why, it is likely due to a combination of factors. During this stage of pregnancy, women may be nauseous, fatigued, and / or distracted. Statistics show that approximately one out of every 50 pregnant women will be involved in a traffic accident during their pregnancy.
Epilepsy: This condition is characterized by different types of seizures, and the increased risk of being involved in an auto accident is largely dependent on the frequency and kind of seizures the patient experiences. If a seizure results in loss of control or awareness while driving, it can be extremely dangerous. For most individuals with epilepsy, driving privileges will be restricted until they have been seizure-free for a minimum amount of time.
Dementia:The most well-known form of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease, but there are many types and varying levels of this cognitive disorder. When an individual has dementia, even in the early stages, the risk of having a motor vehicle accident increases substantially. Because dementia is a progressive disease, the risk will only grow as time goes on. This doesn’t necessarily mean that someone in the early stages of dementia cannot drive safely. However, once an individual has been diagnosed with dementia, his or her driving abilities should be closely monitored.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Auto Accident Law Firm
For over 50 years, we’ve been protecting the rights of auto accident victims throughout Boston. If you’ve been injured in any type of accident, we can help you get the compensation you need to recover completely – physically, emotionally, and financially. Our highly skilled team of injury attorneys understands the complexities of motor vehicle accidents, especially when a medical condition comes into play. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free consultation about your case.