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March 20th, 2012

Drivers Who Smoke Pot and Drive Have Increased Risk of Accidents

Much of the debate on impaired driving tends to center on persons driving under the influence of alcohol. However, a person who smokes marijuana before driving can have his accident risks double.  Moreover, persons who smoke marijuana before driving tend to be less aware of their impaired driving compared to drunk drivers.

Researchers at Dalhousie University in Canada evaluated a total of nine previous studies that have been conducted into the role of pot in causing accidents. They found that the earlier studies when taken individually did not conclusively prove that smoking pot increased or lowered the risk of accidents.

However, when researchers grouped these studies and analyzed the findings, they found that drivers who were driving under the influence of marijuana had their accident risks double, compared to persons who were driving sober. The results of the study have been published in the British Medical Journal.

According to the researchers, the research seems to conclusively prove that these persons have a higher accident risk. What is even more concerning to Houston auto accident lawyers is that there is a lot of misconception about the effect that marijuana has on a person’s accident risks.

Many people tend to underestimate the effect that smoking pot can have a person’s driving abilities, or believe that driving after smoking pot is safer than driving drunk. In fact, according to the researchers, it is not uncommon to find people at a party designating a person smoking pot but avoiding alcohol, as the designated driver for the evening. As this research shows, smoking pot can impair your driving abilities just as much as drinking alcohol can.

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