Drivers with undiagnosed, untreated attention deficit disorder impatient, prone to accidents –Psychiatrist

 

Amarachi Okeh

A Professor of Psychiatry, Jude Ohaeri, has called for more enlightenment on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in Nigeria, especially amongst drivers.

According to Ohaeri, adult drivers with undiagnosed and untreated ADHD are usually impatient on the road, adding that they are more prone to causing road accidents.

The psychiatrist noted that the manifestation of behaviour that could be connected to undiagnosed and untreated ADHD may already be manifesting on Nigerian roads with the way some drivers demonstrate impatience behind the wheel.

Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise, the professor of psychiatry stated that the inability of some drivers to be patient in traffic could in fact be a sign that they have this mental health condition.

According to an article published by healthine.com, an online medical news site, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental health condition that can cause unusual levels of hyperactivity and impulsive behaviours.

The site added that people with ADHD may also have trouble focusing their attention on a single task or sitting still for long periods of time.

Ohaeri, who is also a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science speaking said, “If you are driving, you’d just wonder what is happening on the road. You’d see someone that can’t wait in the queue, they must honk their horn, that is one feature.

“So, you wonder how many of our drivers on the road actually have adult ADHD because that is one thing about ADHD, they cannot wait for their turn.

“They must get what they want immediately. They are very impulsive people and it shows that they are very active and people will notice that this person can’t sit in one place in traffic unlike being a baba go slow who is patient.

“The main thing is you can see it on our roads where people are not able to take their turns. A person with ADHD will beat a traffic light repeatedly because they can’t stay in one place and God helps people who they are driving behind”.

The consultant psychiatrist stated further that while the percentage of accidents caused by people with ADHD is not known, it would be “a common thing to happen. They are going to cause trouble on the road.”

Ohaeri however stressed that not everyone who causes trouble on the road has ADHD but said, “if you check the group of people beating traffic lights and hooting behind you even when there is no need for that, you’d find that a good proportion of them have ADHD. It is possible.”

SOURCE: THE PUNCH

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