Study: Driving Under Marijuana Influence Increases Car Crash Risk

Operating a vehicle under the influence of cannabis is related to a high risk of motor vehicle crashes, particularly for deadly collisions, an assessment of 9 studies concludes.

CNN (Cable News Network) reported that the evaluation discovered that operating a vehicle under the influence of cannabis was related to nearly two times the risk of a car crash as compared to impaired driving. The research in the assessment included almost 50,000 individuals.

The results of the study were published within the British Medical Journal. This is the initial evaluation to monitor observational studies that were concerned with the risk of car collision after using marijuana, according to a press release that was issued by the British Medical Journal. The release notes that prior research has failed to differentiate the effects of alcohol, as well as additional substances from the usage of marijuana, which results in a lack of agreement.

Mark Asbridge, lead researcher of Dalhousie University within Halifax in Nova Scotia, stated that while alcoholic beverages will impair a drivers’ reaction time, as well as speed, cannabis is going to affect spatial location. Mr. Asbridge also stated that drivers who recently have used marijuana might follow vehicles too closely, and then swerve out of and in lanes. He also added that as individuals who are drunk oftentimes recognize they’re impaired by alcohol, the ones who are under the influence of pot oftentimes are going to deny that they’re impaired.

One 2009 report from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), that was based upon saliva, breath, as well as blood tests collected on the weekends from drivers within 300 nationwide locations, discovered that 16.3% of drivers in the evening were impaired from illegal or legal drugs, which included 9% of drivers who possess detectable traces of pot within their system.