National providers for auto insurance issued a press release late last week claiming that marijuana users are safer drivers than non-users over a 20 year study.
10 points that emerged from the 20 years of studies:
1. Drivers who had been using marijuana were found to drive slower, according to a 1983 study done byU.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). This was seen as a factor in their favor, since drivers who drank alcohol usually drove faster and that is part of the reason they had accidents.
2. Marijuana users were able to drive straight and not have any trouble staying in their own lanes when driving on the highway, according to a NHTSA done in 1993 in the Netherlands. The study determined also that the use of marijuana had very little affect on the person’s overall driving ability.
3. Drivers who had smoked marijuana were shown to be less likely to try to pass other cars and to drive at a consistent speed, according to a University of Adelaide study done in Australia. The study showed no danger unless the drivers had also been drinking alcohol.
4. Drivers high on marijuana were also shown to be less likely to drive in a reckless fashion, according to a study done in 2000 in the UK by the UK Transport Research Lab. The study was done using driver on driving simulators over a period of a month and was actually undertaken to show that pot was a cause for impairment, but instead it showed the opposite and confirmed that these drivers were actually much safer than some of the other drivers on the road.
5. States that allow the legal use of marijuana for medical reasons are noticing less traffic fatalities; for instance, in Colorado and Montana there has been a nine percent drop in traffic fatalities and a five percent drop in beer sales.
The conclusion was that using marijuana actually has helped save lives! Medical marijuana is allowed in 16 states in the U.S.
6. Low doses of marijuana in a person’s system was found by tests in Canada in 2002 to have little effect on a person’s ability to drive a car, and that these drivers were in much fewer car crashes than alcohol drinkers.
7. Most marijuana smokers have fewer crashes because they don’t even drive in the first place and just stay home thus concluded more than one of these tests on pot smoking and driving.
8. Marijuana smokers are thought to be more sober drivers. Traffic information from 13 states where medical marijuana is legal showed that these drivers were actually safer and more careful than many other drivers on the road.
These studies were confirmed by the University of Colorado and the Montana State University when they compared a relationship between legal marijuana use and deaths in traffic accidents in those states. The studies done by a group called the Truth About Cars showed that traffic deaths fell nine percent in states with legal use of medical marijuana.
9. Multiple studies showed that marijuana smokers were less likely to be risk takers than those that use alcohol. The studies showed that the marijuana calmed them down and made them actually pay more attention to their abilities.
All of these tests and research studies showed that while some people think that marijuana is a major cause of traffic problems, in reality it may make the users even safer when they get behind the wheel!
10. Marijuana smoking drivers were shown to drive at prescribed following distances, which made them less likely to cause or have crashes.
InsuranceIwant.com notes that though alcohol has been proven time and time again to cause risky behavior and lack of judgement behind the wheel resulting in numerous traffic fatalities, marijuana does not cause the same effects. Best of all marijuana can cause the user to decide not to drive at all – which drunk, stoned or sober – ensures no one ends up injured.
Here at THC.me, we want to add that driving either stoned or drunk is not safe and both substances should be used responsibly, but alcohol is much worse than marijuana when it comes to impairment. When your really drunk, you don’t think about the consequences of driving, and when your really stoned, you don’t even feel like driving anywhere.