If you have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, driving can be especially difficult. As discussed by psychologist Nadine Lambert, Ph.D., the skills you need to drive safely, such as staying focused on one task, following through, and planning ahead, can be challenging for you. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drive with ADHD. As long you take extra precautions, you can still be a very safe driver.
- Know That You Need to Stay Extra Focused
The first step to making sure to stay safe while driving with ADHD is to admit to yourself that you have a legitimate medical condition and you need to be extra aware of it while you are behind the wheel. When you know you need to take additional steps that other drivers don’t require, you can be more diligent about what needs to be done.
- Avoid Mobile Devices
All drivers should avoid mobile devices while they are driving, but since you are dealing with ADHD, it is harder for you to leave a cellphone alone than it is for other drivers. Always drive with your phone on silent so you aren’t tempted to answer a call or a text. Or better yet, put it in the glove box or use a safe driving app so you don’t have the opportunity to use it.
- Choose Music Wisely
When it comes to driving with ADHD, you need to be extra thoughtful about the music you choose. If certain types of music help you concentrate, that is great, and you should make sure that it is playing before you start driving. However, commit to not changing the music once the driving begins. No changing the radio station, no reaching for your phone to pick a new song, and no switching out CDs. Again, if it will be too difficult to resist, put all other music sources completely out of your reach while behind the wheel.
- Drive Alone
If at all possible, try to drive alone. As you know, passengers can be very distracting, and your goal is to eliminate or minimize any distractions so that you can stay safe. If you need to drive with someone else, consider having them sit in the back seat to reduce their chances of distracting you.
- Plan Ahead
Finally, when driving with ADHD, force yourself to plan ahead, even if you don’t want to. By reviewing the details of the drive in advance, you can feel confident in what is ahead of you. Leave with plenty of time to get where you are going so you don’t need to rush and you can focus on simply driving.
Driving with ADHD can be a challenge, but if you accept it for what it is and be extra diligent in following the above steps, you can keep yourself safe behind the wheel. To learn more about how to safely drive with ADHD or ADD, contact us now.