Marijuana Use Increases the Risk of Fatal Car Accidents

Even short-term marijuana use can be deadly on the road

Everyone knows — or should know — that getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol is dangerous. Now, a new study shows that smoking marijuana before you drive increases your risk of being involved in a fatal car accident. The study also reveals that even short-term marijuana use can be deadly on the road, especially when it’s combined with alcohol consumption.

Study Says Pot [Cannabis] & Alcohol Are a Deadly Combo

The study, which was published by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public health, looked at 14,742 motorists who were at fault in accidents, as well as the same number of drivers who were not responsible for the crash. The study analyzed data from 1993 through 2014 and found that among 28 percent of at-fault motorists tested positive for alcohol, 10 percent tested positive for marijuana, and four percent had both in their systems.

Driving Under The Influence Of Marijuana

“Many different activities can impair one’s driving, such as being under the influence of alcohol or constantly looking at a smartphone. Using marijuana prior to or during driving is certainly one of those dangerous factors, as well. Marijuana usually slows down the user’s perception of depth, time, motion and sounds. It also impairs coordination and concentration.” Source

[PARENTS GUIDE]: Guide For Understanding Teens And Marijuana]

 

Guide For Understanding Teen And Marijuana

Among motorists who weren’t to blame for their accidents, 10 percent tested positive for alcohol, six percent for marijuana, and just one percent for both alcohol and marijuana.

According to this data, people who tested positive for both alcohol and marijuana were six times more likely to die in a car accident. Researchers also found that testing positive for marijuana makes an individual 62 percent more likely to be responsible for causing a crash.

Furthermore, recent marijuana use — such as use occurring within a few hours of driving — impairs motor skills and reaction time, which makes a person more likely to get into an accident in the first place.

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Side Effects of Pot / Marijuana (Cannabis)

So far, lawmakers have legalized marijuana for medical use in 28 states and the District of Columbia. No matter where you live, it’s important to be aware of the side effects of marijuana use.

In the short-term, marijuana can cause memory loss, anxiety, paranoia, panic, increased heart rate, and hallucinations. It also increases a person’s risk of stroke and decreases coordination.

Over time, prolonged marijuana use lowers IQ, impairs thinking, and often leads users to explore other types of drugs. Many marijuana users report pot being a gateway drug to harsher substances, such as cocaine and heroin. Contrary to what some people think, marijuana is also addictive. After a time, the brain becomes used to the chemicals contained in marijuana, which means users must smoke or consume more to achieve a high.

Other Resources for you

  1. To learn more about The Risk of Addiction for College Students Previous blog post

  2. Read our blog post: 10 Compelling Facts About Teen Drug Use

 

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Sources:

  1. http://www.menshealth.com/health/marijuana-car-accidents
  2. http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/marijuana/short-and-long-term-effects.html

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