Monday, March 30, 2009

Cannabis causes dangerous driving

Researchers in Canada have found that young men who are impulsive thrill-seekers are more likely to admit to driving while high on marijuana. The researchers from the University of Montreal found that men who drove under the influence of cannabis were also more likely to report certain risky driving behaviours, and tend to get in more accidents.
The research report in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention also made the interesting suggestion that public health messages intended to discourage people from driving while high “should include an arousing and unconventional format” so they won’t be “redundant and boring” for their intended audience.
Studies have shown that people’s driving skills are impaired within the first hour after smoking pot, they add. And it’s also possible, according to Richer and Bergeron, that people who get behind the wheel after smoking marijuana are also by nature more likely to be dangerous drivers.
The research team focused on 83 men ranging in age from 17 to 49, of whom 30 admitted to being pot smokers. From these individuals, 80% said they had driven under the influence of marijuana in the past 12 months. Of all the study participants, 35% had been involved in at least one car crash in the past three years.
Study participants were placed in driving simulators and also completed a driving test under time pressure. The pot-smoking drivers were more likely to be engaged in risky driving, meaning driving in a careless way that could hurt others but isn’t intended to do so; and negative emotional driving, for example, getting angry with other motorists.It is important for road users to be aware to the dangers that some substances might have on their driving ability. Drunk driving is not only driving whilst intoxicated with alcohol- but also driving under the influence of cannabis and other drugs!
Only drive when sober and able to focus on the road ahead – you have one life –don’t take a chance with it!!
Visit the Arrive Alive road safety website for more information about drunken driving!

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