Under the Influence: Cannabis, Driving, and the Risks

With each passing year, more and more states are opting to legalize the possession and use of cannabis. Legalization in places like California and Colorado has had a domino effect on the nation at large. Even in legal states, though, driving under the influence of any kind of mind-altering drug is still considered illegal. New reports from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that in spite of the laws, millions of people opt to get behind the wheel after indulging. This self-reported study includes drivers at or above the legal driving age of 16. This means the data is likely underreported. Still, the study reveals more than 12 million Americans consumed marijuana before driving in the last year. No matter your attitude on pot, this statistic is indeed troubling.

The Impact of Marijuana on Driving

One study by Dr. Kaylin M. Greene of Montana State University shows that Americans have a misunderstanding of the dangers associated with driving under the influence of cannabis. Study subjects professed their belief that marijuana is a lower risk for car accidents than booze. In fact, weed causes a significant number of car wrecks each year. The study centered around rural Americans, and the results reflect the high rate of car crashes that happen in rural areas.

Cannabis impairs the cognitive abilities, reaction times and judgment of drivers. This makes it an incredibly dangerous substance for our nation’s roads. Drivers take more risks under the influence, and sometimes struggle to react to changing road conditions. When a person drives high, everyone on the road is in danger.

Schedule Your Free Consultation Now

For more than 33 years, The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe has helped clients injured in Norfolk car accidents. If you are involved in a crash related to the use of marijuana, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. Learn more about your options by scheduling a FREE consultation with us today. Just call or text 877-544-5323 to set up your appointment.

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