ADHD and Driving
When you’re checking your voice messages—right hand gripping the steering wheel, left hand holding your phone—is there anything more annoying than being behind someone who is on the phone? They must be texting, you think. How inconsiderate! And then someone honks their horn behind you because the light has turned green. How annoying is that?
Seriously, adults with ADHD are far more likely than others to be cited for traffic violations. They are two to four times more likely to crash, and when they do, they are more likely to be at fault. They are far more likely than others to be cited for speeding, reckless driving, and driving without a license.
I never speed in my own neighborhood. That is what I told the cop who pulled me over about a week ago. He checked my license and asked, “Why are you speeding in your own neighborhood? What’s the hurry?” I knew the answer to the second question: “There is never a reason to speed and endanger others, sir.” I assured him that I never speed in my neighborhood. It is where I walk in the morning. He looked at me like I’m an alien and said, “You mean you never get caught.”
“You probably hear it often, but seriously, I don’t,” I insisted, and that is a fact if you consider that “never” actually means no more often than once a year. It reminds me of what my wife says whenever I lose my keys and say to her, “I never lose my keys.” She replies, “You always say that when you lose your keys.”
The policeman still looked doubtful. I complained to him about others who speed in my community and drivers who pass me in the turn lane when I’m trying to turn into my neighborhood. His doubt penetrated my my prefrontal cortex, and I knew it was time to stop talking, which is difficult for me, especially when I’m a little nervous…and in a hurry.
He was kind not to cite me. “Please slow down,” he said. I assured him that I would. I think he let me off the hook because I live in the neighborhood he was patrolling, and he knew that I knew he was trying to protect my neighbors and me from people like me.