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Can J Psychiatry. 2019 Jul;64(7):511-515. doi: 10.1177/0706743718809340. Epub 2018 Oct 28.

Traffic Violations among Young People with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

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1 School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario.



Evidence whether individuals with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at increased risk for traffic violations/collisions is mixed. This study investigated the association between ADHD and traffic violations among youth and young adults; examined whether this association differed by age, sex, or comorbid mental or physical problems; and modelled factors associated with traffic violations among individuals with ADHD.


Data come from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health (CCHS-MH), a cross-sectional epidemiological study. The sample was restricted to youth and young adults aged 15 to 39 years and categorized into 3 groups: 15 to 19 years (n = 1886), 20 to 29 years (n = 3679), and 30 to 39 years (n = 3659). Lifetime ADHD and past-year contact with police for traffic violations were self-reported. Logistic regression models quantified the association between ADHD and traffic violations, stratified by age. Interactions were included to examine moderating effects.


No evidence suggested an association between ADHD and past-year traffic violations (odds ratio [OR], 1.07; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.64 to 1.79), age-specific estimates did not differ across age groups (P = 0.696), and no factors moderated the association. Three factors were found to increase odds for past-year traffic violations among individuals with ADHD: aged 20 to 29 years (OR, 3.84; 95% CI, 1.47 to 10.06), male sex (OR, 3.48; 95% CI, 1.39 to 8.59), and white ethnicity (OR, 5.62; 95% CI, 1.24 to 25.51).


Individuals with ADHD are not an at-risk group for traffic violations but instead share similar risk factors with individuals in the general population without ADHD-information useful for health professionals. Replication studies are needed to examine the robustness of these findings.


driving; mental disorder; motor vehicle; police contact; risky behaviour; traffic

[Available on 2020-01-01]

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