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.