"There are all sorts of conditions out there that affect driving," says Daniel Cox, who has studied attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). "What I want to point out is that ADHD is not unique in making driving dangerous."
Nor are the ways to improve safety unique for teens with the disorder. Aside from the section on medication in her book "ADHD and Driving," says Marlene Snyder, "the steps are useful for any parent."
The steps she and Cox emphasize:
1. Talk with your teen before he or she starts to drive, about both the disorder and its possible consequences on the road.
2. Model good driving practices.
3. Set up firm rules and enforce them strictly -- "Parents love my book, but kids hate it," Snyder jokes.
4. Determine your teen's readiness to drive -- if you don't think it's time, don't let them on the road.
5. Know your state's licensing laws and restrictions, and don't hesitate to set your own.
6. Do not let your teen drive without being properly medicated -- "It's okay for parents to require medications," Snyder says. "It's a safety issue."
For more information on ADHD or to obtain a copy of Snyder's book, contact Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD), a nonprofit organization, at 8181 Professional Place, Suite 201, Landover, MD 20705; 301-306-7070; www.chadd.org.
-- Matt McMillen