Drivers need to make smart choices when they get behind the wheel of their vehicle. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Alabama knows one of the most dangerous decisions a motorist can make is the choice to get behind the wheel after consuming alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, one recent study suggests that drivers who use cannabis while consuming alcohol are more likely to make the choice to drive drunk.
Marijuana Use Among Drivers May Increase the Risk of Driving While Drunk
Health Day reports researchers conducted a comprehensive review of how people use alcohol and drugs. Researchers looked at data from surveys conducted between 2005 and 2010. More than 9,000 people responded to the surveys about their drug and alcohol use.
Eighty-nine percent of people answering the surveys said they consumed alcoholic beverages only and did not use cannabis products. A total of 11 percent of respondents indicated that they used alcohol products and cannabis products.
Most people who use both marijuana and alcohol consumed them together. Only 4.5 percent said they tended to use the two substances at different times in most situations. A total of 7.5 percent of the respondents said they used both of the substances at the same time.
This is troubling data because evidence suggests consumption of both cannabis and alcoholic beverages makes the person drinking and smoking twice as likely to get behind the wheel when drunk.
Marijuana use may be making motorists more relaxed about the dangers of drunk driving, despite the fact that these dangers have become widely known and most motorists accept that driving drunk is very risky. Since the 1970s, there has been a tremendous decline in motor vehicle accidents involving drivers who are impaired thanks to aggressive enforcement of DUI laws as well as public education campaigns. While too many people still drive drunk, at least progress was being made. If the use of marijuana now increases the number of people who make the bad choice to drive drunk, this is going to make the roads much less safe overall.
Driving under the influence of cannabis products is dangerous in its own right, although it is not clear exactly how risky this behavior is. Researchers are still trying to figure out the impact of cannabis use on driving, but early data suggests that ingesting or smoking THC products can result in impaired judgment and delayed reaction time. Consuming cannabis products is not thought to be as dangerous as alcohol, but it could play a big role in increasing overall accident risks if it makes motorists more likely to drive while they are drunk.
Cannabis use has become more socially acceptable since the study data, since the last year that responses were considered was in 2010 before the major national push for legalization. There are likely more people today drinking and using drugs at the same time. These motorists could present a big risk to themselves and others on the roads.
Accident lawyers in Montgomery, Alabama can help if you have been injured in an accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE or visit www.slocumblaw.com. Serving Montgomery, Prattville, and surrounding areas.