Research Article  |   November 2013
Driving Characteristics of Teens With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity and Autism Spectrum Disorder
Author Affiliations
  • Sherrilene Classen, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, is Professor and Director, School of Occupational Therapy, Elborn College, Western University, London, Ontario N6A 5B9 Canada. At the time of the study, she was Director, Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation, and Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville; sclassen@uwo.ca
  • Miriam Monahan, MS, OTR/L, CDRS, is Adjunct Scholar, Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, and Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida
  • Yanning Wang, MS, is Research Assistant, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville
Article Information
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder / Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Community Mobility and Driving / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   November 2013
Driving Characteristics of Teens With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity and Autism Spectrum Disorder
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2013, Vol. 67, 664-673. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.008821
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2013, Vol. 67, 664-673. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.008821
Abstract

Vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among teens. Teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or both (ADHD–ASD) may have a greater crash risk. We examined the between-groups demographic, clinical, and predriving performance differences of 22 teens with ADHD–ASD (mean age = 15.05, standard deviation [SD] = 0.95) and 22 healthy control (HC) teens (mean age = 14.32, SD = 0.72). Compared with HC teens, the teens with ADHD–ASD performed more poorly on right-eye visual acuity, selective attention, visual–motor integration, cognition, and motor performance and made more errors on the driving simulator pertaining to visual scanning, speed regulation, lane maintenance, adjustment to stimuli, and total number of driving errors. Teens with ADHD–ASD, compared with HC teens, may have more predriving deficits and as such require the skills of a certified driving rehabilitation specialist to assess readiness to drive.