High Driving: Marijuana and Traffic Safety

Currently, nearly half of all states have legalized the use of marijuana for either medicinal or recreational purposes. This rapid trend toward the legalization of marijuana has raised concerns among many as to the potential effects on traffic safety. Whether they are legal or illegal, drugs in general can create problems when it comes to operating vehicles.

The potential effects of driving while high on marijuana are slower decision making, decreased vision, and reduced ability to multitask. However, unlike alcohol, drivers who are high tend to be aware they are impaired and try to drive slower and avoid risky situations like passing other cars and allow extra room between vehicles. Further, a 2007 study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health, found that drivers with a blood alcohol level of 0.05% were three times more likely to have engaged in reckless driving prior to a vehicular accident compared to those who did not drink but did use marijuana.

The dangerous temptation of “high driving,” is the rationale that it is not as bad as driving drunk. Comparing drunk driving and high driving is a fruitless exercise, as it ignores the reality that marijuana influences physical and mental capacities necessary for safe driving. High driving is illegal for that exact reason.

Even if you use marijuana medicinally, you cannot use the substance and drive. Just like cough syrup or Vicodin, you cannot operate a vehicle while impaired under the influence of drugs. A DUI can cost you serious money and jail time, but more importantly, it places the lives of other human beings in serious danger.

If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a car accident, and is struggling to deal with insurance companies, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 479-621-0006, or visit our website at nwacaraccidentattorney.com.

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