Behind the Wheel With ADHD: 5 Tips for Safe Driving

Behind the Wheel With ADHD: 5 Tips for Safe Driving

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Receiving my ADHD diagnosis was one of the best things to ever happen to me. I finally had the language to describe what was happening inside my brain and could work on developing personal strategies for managing my ADHD symptoms.

For example, I find that it’s easy to get distracted while driving as an ADHD adult. When driving down the road, a lot of stimulation comes at you from every angle. You may need help practicing safe driving methods consistently. Fortunately, I have developed some strategies for driving behind the wheel with ADHD. Here are my top five tips for safe driving.

Keep Your Mobile Device out of Reach

Most people feel the urge to check notifications or respond to messages while driving, especially those with ADHD. I recommend keeping your mobile device out of reach in the glove box or the back seat to minimize this temptation.

If you need to use your phone for navigation, set the destination before driving and use voice-guided prompts. Taking these steps will ensure you don’t create an excuse to use your device while driving.

Avoid Distracting Music

Many ADHD drivers find it distracting to listen to certain types of music while driving. I always find it hard to concentrate on the road ahead when listening to songs that are too upbeat or loud. I recommend creating a driving playlist with calming songs that help you stay focused.

Alternatively, you may consider finding podcasts or audiobooks that engage your mind without overstimulating it. I suggest staying away from those popular murder mystery podcasts. Those tend to overstimulate my senses and steal my focus away from driving!

Stick to Familiar Routes

Many ADHD drivers struggle with taking new routes or routes with heavy traffic because of the increased need for decision-making and attentiveness. I suggest choosing familiar routes whenever possible, especially when traveling to and from work. By taking familiar routes, your brain can settle down and focus on the act of driving rather than trying to remember directions or navigate unfamiliar territory.

Drive a Car With a Manual Transmission

Did you know that ADHD adults can benefit from driving a manual car? The need to shift gears constantly can act as a grounding mechanism, keeping you engaged with your vehicle and the road. Shifting gears forces you to stay actively involved in driving, reducing the chance of your mind wandering.

Have a Consistent Auto Maintenance Routine

Finally, maintaining a consistent auto maintenance routine is important when driving behind the wheel with ADHD. Out of the five tips for safe driving, this is the one that drivers overlook the most. I recommend blocking out time in your calendar for routine auto maintenance. Doing this will prevent you from getting distracted and forgetting to change the oil or rotate your tires!

I also recommend reading up on proper auto maintenance practices, including the mistakes to avoid when detailing your car’s exterior. By learning to maintain your car, you can form good habits and reduce the chances of unexpected breakdowns or malfunctions.

Adopting safe driving techniques while driving with ADHD is important. With these tips, I hope you can begin the process of becoming a safer and more aware driver. Remember, it takes great courage and dedication to manage your ADHD symptoms. Celebrate your small wins and continue on the path toward self-improvement!

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Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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