Objective: To examine risky driving behaviors and negative driving outcomes in a large sample of adolescents and adults diagnosed in childhood with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) compared with demographically similar controls without ADHD.
Methods: 355 adolescents and young adults of the Pittsburgh ADHD Longitudinal Study (PALS) (n = 203 probands; n = 152 controls) were administered the Young Adult Driving Questionnaire. Parent and self-report of current ADHD symptoms and conduct problems were tested as potential mediators of the association between childhood ADHD and negative driving outcomes.
Results: ADHD group differences, of small to medium effect size, were found for number of tickets and accidents, and hyperactivity-impulsivity at follow-up emerged as a significant mediator of this association. Current conduct problems were associated with both risky and alcohol-impaired driving.
Conclusions: Childhood ADHD elevates risk for driving-related problems, especially when symptoms persist. Co-occurring conduct problems capture some of this risk.