Stoned Drivers Are Not More Likely To Be Involved in Crashes
There has always been a worry that driving whilst stoned poses a significant risk to the safety of everyone around. Well, according to new research from the US federal government, people may have been worrying over nothing - as those found with THC in their system were no more likely to be involved in a motoring accident than drug free drivers.
RESEARCHING CANNABIS ON THE ROAD
The research itself is the first of its kind assessing the large scale implications of drug use on crash risk, evaluating 9,000 participants over the last year. Initial results suggested that cannabis users are 25% more likely to be involved in a crash, but once other factors such as gender, age and ethnicity, as well as presence of alcohol were taken into account, this risk dropped all the way to zero!
It is worth noting that researchers did not distinguish between high and low doses of THC, but simply whether it was present or not.
Also rather interestingly, (but not surprisingly), those who tested positive for low amounts of alcohol posed a statistically significant increased risk of crashing, even after demographic variables were controlled for.
The authors of the research concluded. “This finding indicates that these other variables (age, gender, ethnicity, and alcohol use) were highly correlated with drug use and account for much of the increased (crash) risk associated with the use of illegal drugs and THC.”
A SIGNIFICANT MYTH PUT TO REST
The fact that a federal government organisation from the US is stating cannabis appears to have no effect on the likelihood of crashing a car is an extremely significant blow to the anti-cannabis movement. Of late, especially in places that have been legalising weed, the dangers of stoners on the road has been one of the main arguments in opposition. Now that this new bit of research has been published, it is going to be very difficult for the anti-cannabis crowd to spin this argument.
Of course, this is not a free ticket to get stoned and go driving. It is still illegal, and it is never sensible to operate any kind of heavy machinery when you are not technically sober. Stay safe.