[Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Road Traffic - Special Considerations for the Treatment of Adolescents With ADHD]

Z Kinder Jugendpsychiatr Psychother. 2009 Sep;37(5):405-11. doi: 10.1024/1422-4917.37.5.405.
[Article in German]


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not only a childhood disorder but symptoms persist into adolescence and adulthood in approximately one third of the patients. Especially inattention and poor concentration impair driving performance in road traffic. Adolescents and young adults with ADHD are twice as likely to be involved in traffic accidents as people of the same age. This review sums up the legal situation in Germany and provides an overview of the current existing experimental studies on driving performance of adolescents and young adults with ADHD. Psychostimulant therapy seems to improve driving performance in ADHD patients. At the same time psychostimulants are prohibited, according to the road traffic act. Atomoxetine as a non-stimulant is not mentioned there. Therefore it could be unproblematically prescribed, however, the evidence for improved driving is not as unequivocal as for methylphenidate. The psychoeducation of adolescents and young adults with ADHD concerning their increased risk in road traffic often seems to be insufficient in clinical practice. Given the high number of traffic deaths in these young age groups consulting regarding this matter should be of high priority.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Amphetamines / adverse effects
  • Amphetamines / therapeutic use
  • Atomoxetine Hydrochloride
  • Attention / drug effects
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / adverse effects
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use
  • Propylamines / adverse effects
  • Propylamines / therapeutic use
  • Substance Abuse Detection / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Young Adult


  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
  • Amphetamines
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Propylamines
  • Methylphenidate
  • Atomoxetine Hydrochloride