A survey conducted last year has provided us with new statistics surrounding the correlation between marijuana usage people’s ability to safely navigate public roads in their motor vehicles. From the people who took the survey, a good portion admitted to having used marijuana. And among these, nearly forty percent admitted to operation a vehicle within merely two hours of smoking said marijuana.
Nearly eighty percent of participants admitted to having entered a vehicle which was operated by someone who had used marijuana not even two hours prior. However, the most disconcerting result of the survey is that half of the admitted marijuana users do not believe that their usage influences their driving capabilities in a negative way. This is as opposed to 75 of all participants who have stated that they do believe in the negative influence of marijuana on safe driving practices.
What does research deem to be the truth?
The first set of studies on the matter were conducted by staging real world scenarios in laboratories and simulations. Regardless of which method was used, they all came up with the same results: higher dosages of cannabis will negatively impact the driver’s psychomotor skills which leaves them unable to drive safely. However, it should be noted that it is impossible to stage all potential real-world scenarios since navigating public roads can lead to unique situations that cannot be recreated.
In order to amend this flaw, additional observational studies were conducted later on. These were used to find a correlation between marijuana usage and drivers who have been severely or fatally injured in motor vehicle collisions. The results came back conclusive and stated that, following alcohol consumption, marijuana usage is the second most frequently found psychoactive substance found in injured and deceased drivers. From this, we can conclude that using marijuana within two hours before the operation of a vehicle will significantly increase the driver’s chances of becoming involved in a motor vehicle collision.
Thus, the new laws that allow medically approved cannabis to be consumed is still being debated in legal circles as personal injury lawyers in North Bay are presuming a rise in accidents.
Unfortunately, a series of more controlled studies looking at the correlation between marijuana usage and collision involvement have been less successful. While half of these studies have come back with the same results as the above mentioned, the rest were less conclusive. Because of this, more case-controlled studies were launched which investigated drivers who had previously been involved in an accident so the researchers could look for a pattern in marijuana usage. Though again, the results were inconclusive.