Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is common among children, adolescents and young adults; its characteristics include short attention spans, impulsivity and hyperactive behavior such as excessive talking and fidgeting. When people with ADHD get behind the wheel, they might endanger others because of their tendency to drive distracted. Residents of New York should know that a study has been published in JAMA Psychiatry showing what the risks are and how they might be alleviated.

Analyzing the health insurance claims for 2005 through 2014, researchers identified over 2.3 million Americans 18 and over with ADHD. More than 1.9 million of them received a prescription for ADHD medication at one time or another.

Researchers then tallied the number of times these drivers went to the emergency room after a car accident. After comparing the number in those months when prescriptions were filled to the number in months when they weren’t, authors found that the medications demonstrated a lower risk for car crashes. Researchers estimate that out of the 11,224 emergency room visits, up to 22.1 percent could have been avoided if drivers were medicated. The risk of getting into an accident while on ADHD medication was reduced in both men and women who filled their prescriptions.

If someone is injured in a car accident caused by distracted driving, he or she may want to see a lawyer about filing a claim. The lawyer may find out that the driver had a medical condition and was negligent in addressing the symptoms. In such a case, the lawyer may move forward with a claim and negotiate for an informal settlement with the driver’s insurance company. If unsuccessful, the lawyer may be able to take the case to court.