Research Finds Marijuana More Than Doubles Accident Risk
October 17, 2011
With many in Colorado pushing for the legalization of medical use of marijuana, new research shows it may not be as safe as many are making it out to be. 9 News tells us that authors of a study published in Epidemiological reviews earlier this month revealed that drivers who get behind the wheel after smoking marijuana run more than double the risk of being involved in an auto accident.
The survey used by researchers found as many as 10 million drivers over the age of 12 had gotten behind the wheel after using the drug. The study assessed the effects of the drugs on individuals at different time frames and found that the drug can have acute effects on driving behavior for up to four hours after ingestion, depending on potency of the drug and frequency of use. In the end, researchers determined drivers under the influence of the drug are 2.7 times more likely to be involved in an auto accident than non-users.
Experts point out that marijuana can affect reaction times and coordination.
One Critic, Chuck Farmer, Director of Statistics with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety explained, “We can’t really say yet that marijuana increases the risk by two or three times, there are other studies out there that actually go the other way.”
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