Choose a manual transmission. A 2006 study by Daniel Cox, a University of Virginia professor of psychiatric medicine, showed teens with ADHD said they felt more attentive while driving a stick shift.
Model safe driving. That includes not using your cell phone for any reason while driving. Monahan likes to have parents of her students ride in the back seat while she’s teaching. That way they can learn exactly what’s expected of the teen driver. Then the whole family practices what they’ve learned.
Limit distractions. Distractions play a role in almost 60 percent of accidents involving teens. And kids with ADHD are more easily distracted. Stop your kid from being tempted to talk or text while driving. Make it a rule that cell phones go in the trunk or somewhere completely out of reach before getting behind the wheel. Make sure your child knows to keep music low, or off, and not to eat or drink while driving.
Consider “driver rehab.” Your child can take these courses in addition to standard driver’s ed. They focus on attention, judgment, and impulsivity issues as they relate to driving.
Give them the time they need to learn. A parent, an instructor, or ideally both should supervise teen drivers for as many as two years. “Learning often takes a lot longer than parents think it will,” Monahan says.
Pick your teen’s passengers. Mature friends can help a driver with ADHD focus by warning her to keep her eyes on the road. Other friends might be too distracting.
Sources: GreatSchools.org, WebMD.org
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