Driving to Destruction: Distractions Pile Up

Matt Richtel
Matt Richtel

An ADHD Roller Coaster salute goes to The New York Times Silicon Valley-based reporter Matt Richtel  He has thoroughly reported the ongoing coverage of the risks associated with driving while using cell phones and texting (see selected headlines and links below).

As you read these important stories, please keep in mind: These risks ratchet up even higher when untreated ADHD takes the wheel. That’s why I devote a chapter to ADHD and Driving in Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder. (Read an excerpt of that chapter here: Chapter 5: How Adult ADHD Can Affect Driving.

“Senators Seek a Ban on Texting and Driving”

excerpt: “Studies show this is far more dangerous than talking on a phone while driving or driving while drunk, which is astounding,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, one of four Democratic senators to introduce the proposal.

“In Study, Texting Lifts Crash Risk by Large Margin”

excerpt: “The first study of drivers texting inside their vehicles shows that the risk sharply exceeds previous estimates based on laboratory research — and far surpasses the dangers of other driving distractions. The new study, which entailed outfitting the cabs of long-haul trucks with video cameras over 18 months, found that when the drivers texted, their collision risk was 23 times greater than when not texting.”

“U.S. Withheld Data on Risks of Distracted Driving”

excerpt: “In 2003, researchers at a federal agency proposed a long-term study of 10,000 drivers to assess the safety risk posed by cellphone use behind the wheel.They sought the study based on evidence that such multitasking was a serious and growing threat on America’s roadways.

“But such an ambitious study never happened. And the researchers’ agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, decided not to make public hundreds of pages of research and warnings about the use of phones by drivers — in part, officials say, because of concerns about angering Congress.”

“Drivers and Legislators Dismiss Cellphone Risks”

excerpt: “On his 15th birthday, Christopher Hill got his first cellphone. For his 16th, he was given a used red Ford Ranger pickup, a source of pride he washed every week. Mr. Hill, a diligent student with a reputation for helping neighbors, also took pride in his clean driving record. “Not a speeding ticket, not a fender bender, nothing,” he said….

“Mr. Hill was so engrossed in the call that he ran a red light and didn’t notice Linda Doyle’s small sport utility vehicle until the last second. He hit her going 45 miles per hour. She was pronounced dead shortly after.”


Important stories, well done. Keep up the good work, Matt. And drive safely, everyone!

—Gina Pera



3 thoughts on “Driving to Destruction: Distractions Pile Up”

  1. Pingback: Can A Pulitzer Prize Offset Entry to The ADHD Roller Coaster Hall of Shame? You Decide. - ADHD Roller Coaster

  2. This shouldn’t be debated on! Texting and/or talking on the mobile phone while behind the wheel SHOULD be outlawed. Period! Let’s not wait for more fatalities to rack up before we act up.

  3. This is the sort of information I need. I teach at an alternative high school and meet so many parents who don’t want their ADHD kids “taking those drugs.”

    Really? You prefer them DWD? (and self-medicating, and failing classes, and, and, and…?)

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