College and drinking have always seemed to go hand-in-hand. It becomes more of a concern when the individual gets behind the wheel of a car. But a new study finds that college-aged men are more at risk of driving while high on pot than drunk.
Researchers found the risk of smoking pot and driving was three times higher than drinking and driving. In fact, just 12 percent reported driving after drinking, compared to 44 percent who drove after smoking. In fact, marijuana use found in fatal car crashes has tripled in the last decade.
The good news is only 9 percent of female college students reported driving while stoned. But 35 percent said they were passengers in a vehicle in which the driver had smoked marijuana beforehand. The number of male passengers riding with a driver who had been smoking was higher (51 percent).
On a national level, of those between the ages of 16 and 20, the percentage of fatal crashes involving marijuana use is 12 percent. It’s becoming a growing concern as more and more states loosen marijuana laws. Impairment of any kind, coupled with inexperience in younger drivers, increases the chance of an accident.
One of the problems law enforcement faces is that unlike the Breathalyzer, which can test for alcohol, there isn’t an easy way to determine if someone has used marijuana. Police would have to take drivers to a police station to administer urine or blood tests.
Researchers are concerned that it’s a growing problem. They would like to see greater efforts on educating the public about the dangers of driving while stoned.
When someone chooses to get behind the wheel of a vehicle impaired, it puts the lives of others at risk. If you believe this was the cause of your crash or you are the family member of a loved one who was killed, contact an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates to learn about legal options: (800) 550-0000.