Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

University Of Toronto Study Shows Marijuana Not A Factor In Driving Accidents

Date:
March 29, 1999
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
The safety hazards of smoking marijuana and driving are overrated, says University of Toronto researcher Alison Smiley, whose study of impairment and traffic accident reports from several countries shows that marijuana taken alone in moderate amounts does not significantly increase a driver's risk of causing an accident.

The safety hazards of smoking marijuana and driving are overrated, says University of Toronto researcher Alison Smiley.

Recent research into impairment and traffic accident reports from several countries shows that marijuana taken alone in moderate amounts does not significantly increase a driver's risk of causing an accident -- unlike alcohol, says Smiley, an adjunct professor in the department of mechanical and industrial engineering. While smoking marijuana does impair driving ability, it does not share alcohol's effect on judgment. Drivers on marijuana remain aware of their impairment, prompting them to slow down and drive more cautiously to compensate, she says.

"Both substances impair performance," Smiley says. "However, the more cautious behaviour of subjects who received marijuana decreases the drug's impact on performance. Their behaviour is more appropriate to their impairment, whereas subjects who received alcohol tend to drive in a more risky manner."

Smiley, who has studied transportation safety for over 25 years, drew her results from a "metanalysis" of existing research into the effects of marijuana on driving ability, combined with traffic accident statistics in the United States and Australia. Previous studies showing stronger effects often combined "fairly hefty doses" by researchers with driving immediately after consumption, likely exaggerating the drug's effects, she believes.

While Smiley does not advocate legalizing the drug, she says her results should be considered by those debating mandatory drug tests for users of transportation equipment such as truck or train drivers, or the decriminalization of marijuana for medical use. "There's an assumption that because marijuana is illegal, it must increase the risk of an accident. We should try to just stick to the facts."

Smiley presented her findings at a symposium of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Florida in February. Her paper was also published in Health Effects of Cannabis, a publication of Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in March.

CONTACT:Bruce RolstonU of T Public Affairs(416) 978-6974bruce.rolston@utoronto.ca


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "University Of Toronto Study Shows Marijuana Not A Factor In Driving Accidents." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990325110700.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (1999, March 29). University Of Toronto Study Shows Marijuana Not A Factor In Driving Accidents. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990325110700.htm
University Of Toronto. "University Of Toronto Study Shows Marijuana Not A Factor In Driving Accidents." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990325110700.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins