Pot-smokers may take more risks on the road

By Rainbowzz · Mar 27, 2009 · Updated Mar 27, 2009 · ·
  1. Rainbowzz
    [h1]Pot-smokers may take more risks on the road[/h1]

    By Reuters - Thu Mar 26, 3:05 PM PDT

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health)

    Young men who are impulsive thrill-seekers are more likely to admit to driving while high on marijuana, Canadian researchers report.

    Men who drove under the influence of cannabis were also more likely to report certain risky driving behaviors, and tend to get in more accidents, Drs. Isabelle Richer and Jacques Bergeron of the University of Montreal say.

    Based on the findings, according to Richer and Bergeron, any public health messages intended to discourage people from driving while high "should include an arousing an unconventional format" so they won't be "redundant and boring" for their intended audience.

    After alcohol, cannabis is the mind-altering substance most often found in the urine or blood of drivers after a crash, the researchers note in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention. 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.

    To investigate, Richer and Bergeron looked at 83 men ranging in age from 17 to 49, of whom 30 admitted to being pot smokers. Among these individuals, 80 percent said they had driven under the influence of marijuana in the past 12 months. Thirty-five percent of all the study participants had been involved in at least one car crash in the past 3 years.
    The researchers had the men complete personality tests, and then examined their driving behavior by having them use a driving simulator. During the driving test, a car was positioned in front of the driver that would slow down when the driver was behind it, but speed up when the driver tried to pass. The study participants were also required to complete the driving test under time pressure.

    Study participants with high scores on personality tests measuring sensation seeking and impulsivity were more likely to say they had driven under the influence of cannabis in the past year. The pot-smoking drivers were also more likely to report having 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. These men were also more likely to exhibit these behaviors in the simulation tests. There was a slight increased likelihood that the pot smokers would get in crashes, and they were also more likely to admit to drinking and driving.

    "Media campaigns promoting traffic safety tend to emphasize rational decision-making approaches involved in driving," the researchers say. But such strategies might not work for young men who drive after smoking marijuana, they add. "It is therefore important to strike a balance between arousing and educational messages."

    They conclude: "On-road risky behaviors tend to be inter-correlated, so interventions should focus on a broad range of dangerous behaviors."

    SOURCE: Accident Analysis and Prevention, March 2009.

    Original link: http://health.yahoo.com/news/reuters/us_pot_road.html

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  1. Junket
    swim is way more cautious when he drives high......

    when sober, he listens to music, eats and texts at the same time.

    high he is just in the zone
  2. Garethn
    swim also dose this and finds it to actually be an improvement! also there was an episode of a program in the uk called fifth gear they did tests on a bloke while high when driven the tests proved that he was more cautious on the road....but i doubt there was any science behind it!
  3. Ricochet
    SWIM feels more competent behind the wheel while high then sober most of the time, SWIM drives a 98' Honda Integra type R and no matter where he drives people love to try and race him, of course every now and again he'll go for a dart with them and he drives far better while high because he's nice and relaxed.
  4. herostyle
    Yeah SWIM notices that when he is high and driving he is going exactly the speed limit or maybe 5 over at most. And then when he is sober, he couldn't really care less how fast he drives. He is way more cautious when under the influence of marijuana.
  5. tiptop
    SWIM has been driving stoned for 5 year now without any problems when hes high hes more paranoid and drives very sensible and safe and concentrates more he never takes more risks thats bullshit but when hes not stoned he can get a little excited on the road and start taking more risks like speeding and overtaking etc swim could pass his test stoned no problem
  6. andreinstein
    There's the problem. As you see from these responses some people are safer when high then when they're sober because of the paranoia or the relaxation. If someone's stupid it isn't the weed causing it that's for sure.
  7. honourableone
    A key word there is "admit". Thrill seekers are more likely to admit that they drive while stoned, which is very logical considering they are more likely to have criminal records, or have circumstances where admitting such things would be less risky. The term "thrill seeker" isn't exactly scientific either, and using a simulator in my eyes isn't anywhere near good enough at providing reliable data.

    Personally, SWIM once had a driving lesson while accidentally stoned (caused by excessive oral ingestion the night before, which was completely new territory for him at the time), and the result was shocking. He had a mock driving test that day, and while his previous one was almost flawless he had something like 7 serious faults on this occasion. SWIM's driving instructor kept telling him where he went wrong, and most of the time SWIM couldn't remember half of the thing's he was talking about. SWIM doesn't think that he would have caused an accident, but the experience isn't one that he wants to repeat. It should be noted that SWIM wasn't getting paranoid or worried in any way and was relaxed throughout. SWIM isn't saying this is the case for everyone, and understands that most people claim the opposite.

    SWIM agrees that he drove slower, he felt that even relatively slow speeds felt quite fast to him, and when he had to get close to 70 it felt incredibly fast. The problem with the "more likely to stick to the speed limit" arguments is that they would be redundant in a real debate. It would be argued that the speed limit should be kept to anyway (despite the fact that the speed limit is a law that needs to be thought out much better as a VAST number of people do break it).
  8. FuBai
    My own look at smoking whilst driving can be found here. My personal feeling is that it is not as detrimental to driving capacity as commonly thought, but that there are certain groups that may have a greater propensity for "risky" behaviour that is likely to lead to them driving in spite of the commonly held view and, indeed, because of it.
  9. Grabnar
    I think this 'ad' is trying to propose that pot heads are thrill seekers only to find out the thrill seekers are the only ones admitting to anything , the REAL pot heads who live in that cannabis induced paranoia tend not to go out much and DENY everything. A friend of mine was interrogated once after smokin a fat ass spliff and let me tell u pot heads are very creative at coming up with some bullshit.
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