Do stoned drivers pose a risk?
Posted on behalf of Mark F. Griffin of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Feb 12, 2015 in Car Accidents
It is well known that driving while drunk poses a risk not only to the person who engages in the behavior, but to others who happen to be on the road with them. When a drunk driver causes an accident it can leave those involved serious hurt and possibly even dead.
With more and more states either legalizing the use of marijuana or okaying it for medical purposes, focus is being put on stoned drivers as well. But just how dangerous are these drivers?
While there is still much research to be done on the matter, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently conducted a study focused on this subject. It determined that the use of marijuana by a driver statistically did not significantly impact the risk of a crash occurring as compared to those who had not used the drug before driving. In comparison, drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.05 or greater correlated to a close to sevenfold increase in odds of being involved in a crash.
Results such as these highlight the difficulty associated with determining thresholds for just what constitutes “marijuana-impaired driving". Currently, pot breathalyzers are under development by several companies.
When an impaired driver makes the decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle to drive the result can be devastating. This is true regardless of what is behind the driver’s impairment. When someone is seriously injured in a crash caused by an impaired driver that person could find that their life is dramatically changed. Those changes could cause great expense. In those situations it may make sense to look into filing a personal injury lawsuit.