U.S. News & World
Report reported this
month about the release of a new study about smoking marijuana and driving. The
study, which was done by the British Medical Journal, found that those driving under the influence of
marijuana were nearly twice as likely to have a car crash as those who were not
under the influence.
Studies outside the
review have shown that drivers aged 35 and younger are more likely to have car
accidents after using marijuana, the authors noted. This risk appears to
be greatest in less-experienced cannabis users, younger drivers, and among
those who combine the use of cannabis and alcohol.
Although the research
seems to be clear that smoking pot makes driving much more dangerous, there are
still problems determining whether a driver was actually under the influence of
the drug after being involved in an accident. Dr. Guohua Li, a professor
of epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City told U.S. News about
the difficulty of accurate testing: “Because THC, the active
ingredient in marijuana, can be detected several weeks after use of marijuana,
it is hard to determine with certainty if a driver testing positive for
marijuana is indeed impaired by the substance at the time of testing,
This issue is especially urgent and important in light of the ongoing epidemic
of drugged driving and increased permissibility and availability of marijuana
worldwide,” Li said.
Regardless, the above
study documents what we already knew. Drugging and driving is just as dangerous
as drinking and driving. Despite the lax attitude many Americans have about
Marijuana, it is important that as a society we remain vigilant in warning
about getting behind the wheel if someone has been smoking the drug.
If you or someone you love
has been involved in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then
call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant at 312-588-3384 for a freeconsultation or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.