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Impaired Driving And Cannabis
With the recent legalization of marijuana (cannabis) in some U.S. states, questions arise as to its potential effect on driving and driving safety. The AAA Foundation for traffic safety commissioned a handful of studies to see what effects, if any, were shown in statistical data.
Among the various statistics unearthed by the studies, two main findings stand out:
- Fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana doubled in Washington after the state legalized the drug. Washington was one of the first two states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, and these findings serve as an eye-opening case study for what other states may experience with road safety after legalizing the drug.
- Legal limits, also known as per se limits, for marijuana and driving are arbitrary and unsupported by science.
Below are the individual studies accompanied by capsule summaries comprising this effort:
- Prevalence of Marijuana Use among Drivers in Washington State
- An Evaluation of Data from Drivers Arrested for Driving Under the Influence in Relation to Per se Limits for Cannabis
- Cannabis Use among Drivers Suspected of Driving Under the Influence or Involved in Collisions: Analysis of Washington State Patrol Data
- Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Marijuana: Beliefs and Behaviors, United States, 2013-2015
Related research released earlier this year by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: