Some children more prone to pedestrian car accidents than others

Some children may be more prone to pedestrian car accidents than other children. The children that are more prone are children with ADHD according to a new study. Children with ADHD may be more likely to get hit by a car than children without the attention disorder. The reason why has less to do with following the rules than it has to do with applying the rules.

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham compared 78 children with ADHD between the ages of 7 and 10 to 39 children without ADHD in the same age group. Researchers found that both groups of children followed traffic safety rules such as “look both ways before you cross”, but children with ADHD did not apply safety rules in the same manner that children without the disorder did.

In the pedestrian safety exercise, children with ADHD took more chances when crossing the street than other children. Children with ADHD choose to cross the street during smaller gaps of traffic which allowed for less time to safely make it to the other curb.

Of course, real children and real traffic were not used to conduct the study. Rather, researchers asked the two groups of children to participate in a virtual pedestrian environment that had the feel of video game. Children watched the flow of traffic on computers and were asked to step off their virtual curb when they thought it was safe to cross.

Researchers expected the children with ADHD to ignore traffic safety rules because of impulsivity but found children with ADHD followed the rules like the other children. It turns out that children with ADHD may just need more practice.

Source: Time, “Are kids with ADHD more likely to get hit by a car?” Bonnie Rochman, 7/25/11

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