Medication Use for ADHD and the Risk of Driving Citations and Crashes Among Teenage Drivers: A Population-Based Cohort Study

Almut G. Winterstein, Yan Li, Tobias Gerhard, Stephan Linden, Jonathan J. Shuster

Publication Date: 09/03/2021

Objectives: To evaluate the real-world effectiveness of ADHD medications on adverse driving outcomes in teenage drivers with ADHD. Method: We retrospectively followed 15- to 20-year-old ADHD patients with valid driver’s license to compare the risk for crashes and citations between periods with and without ADHD medication use, using Florida Medicaid records linked to Department of Motor Vehicles data from 1999 to 2004. Patient-level demographic, clinical, and driver licensing characteristics as well as county-level crash and traffic statistics were adjusted in Cox models. Results: A total of 2,049 patients had 67 crashes and 319 citations. Adjusted hazard ratios comparing ADHD medication use versus no use were 1.22 (95% confidence interval [CI] = [0.66, 1.90]) and 0.89 (95% CI = [0.69, 1.13]) for crashes and citations, respectively. Conclusion: Our study showed no evidence that ADHD medication use was associated with a reduced risk of adverse driving outcomes among teenage drivers enrolled in Medicaid programs. Limitations in interpreting this finding are presented.