Consumption of Cannabis before Driving Increases chances of Accident
According to a new study published on the website of the British Medical Journal, the likelihood of a collision increases by almost two times when the driver of the vehicle has consumed cannabis within three hours of driving. This is the first study of its kind which looks purely on the effect of cannabis and not on the effect of alcohol or other drugs.
The study was led by researchers from the Dalhousie University. For their research, the scientists analyzed the results of nine previous studies which included around 49,411 participants. Experimental or simulator studies were excluded from the meta-analysis. All the studies involved one or more moving vehicles and took place on public roads. Cannabis consumption was determined on the basis of blood samples obtained from the drivers or from direct self-report. Two independent reviewers assessed the risk in each study, on the basis of Newcastle Ottawa scale.
The researchers observed that the likelihood of motor vehicle collusion increased significantly when the driver was driving under the influence of cannabis compared to when the driver was not under the influence of any drug (odds ratio 1.92). This implies that the rate of accident nearly doubles when the driver is under the influence of cannabis. It was also noted that the chances of collusion increase significantly when the driver is around 35 years of age or younger.
Cannabis is one of the most widely abused drugs in the world and its misuse has shown a continuous increase over the past few years. A recent survey in Scotland found that almost 15% of the drivers between the ages of 17 and 35, drive within 12 hours of consuming cannabis. Researchers have opined that cannabis hampers the normal motor functions of the brain which are necessary for safe driving. Driving under its influence can increase the chances of collision.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014