Study finds cannabis use, dangerous driving behaviors interrelated

March 11, 2009

Thrill-seeking young men are more likely to drive under the influence of cannabis (DUIC) and engage in reckless driving, according to a new Université de Montréal study. As reported in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, men who are sensation-seekers, an average age of 27 and impulsive will consider taking the wheel after consuming cannabis more often than older peers.

"We observed that behaviours are interrelated. Individuals scoring high on impulsivity or sensation-seeking scales demonstrated an elevated risk of driving under the influence of ," says senior author Jacques Bergeron, a professor at the Université de Montréal's Department of Psychology.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the association between driving under the influence of cannabis and a wide range of dangerous driving behaviours."

Some 83 were recruited for the study. Participants, aged 17 to 49, were observed in driving simulation tests and questioned about their driving history. Males were selected as a target group, since statistics show that men engage more often in dangerous driving and DUIC compared to women.

Researchers discovered 35 percent of their sample group had been involved in one or more road crashes with material damage in the previous three years. What's more, 30 participants admitted to using cannabis and 80 percent of those users reported at least one incidence of DUIC in the previous 12 months.

"Our study found that men with self-reported DUIC tend to be associated with an increased risk of being involved in a car accident," says lead author Isabelle Richer, a PhD candidate at the Université de Montréal's Department of Psychology.

To dissuade sensation-seekers from DUIC or other dangerous behaviours, Richer and Bergeron recommend that authorities create arousing and unconventional intervention messages that command attention. "On-road risky behaviours tend to be inter-correlated, so interventions should focus on a broad range of dangerous behaviours," stresses Richer.

More information: The paper, "Driving under the influence of cannabis: Links with dangerous driving, psychological predictors, and accident involvement," published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, was authored by Isabelle Richer and Jacques Bergeron of the Université de Montréal.

Source: University of Montreal

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1 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2009
Funny. I have never heard a pot smoker admit to this. They think they can drive stoned.

I await the stoner responses! :D
5 / 5 (2) Mar 11, 2009
okay stoner response....
ive been smoking for years upon years upon years, and never have i drove recklessly due to smoke. alcohol, sure, smoke, never.
this article is just a humongous bs article...

weed would make you slow down, not speed up, or drive more recklessly.

although, there are some idiots out there who cant handle their smoke or their alcohol of course...i know a few....and they wont drive after anything...

this is just yet another thing that the government is trying to sponsor to ensure marijuana cant be legalized. free fkn country my ASS!!!
5 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2009

I can see that you require the obvious to be laid out for you.

1. Someone more inclined to break the law in one way is also more inclined to break the law in another way. When you enter your first year of grade-school psychology you'll learn about that. If pretzels were illegal, we would find a correlation between pretzel "users" and other violations of the law, would we not?

2. Every remotely reputable study and statistic that has ever compared alcohol (or tobacco) to marijuana has proven alcohol/tobacco is orders of magnitude more damaging to society than is marijuana. EVERY single study. And we're talking a long list of organizations starting with Ivy league schools, the AMA, the CDC, etc.. 'Course, we don't need no stinking actual science because we already found out the truth from taxpayer funded "your brain on drugs" TV ads (although perhaps they are simply trying to obey that famous amendment of the U.S. Constitution requiring the federal government to use taxpayer dollars to create social propaganda--sorry I can't remember which amendment it is, at the moment).

3. In most states, punishment for growing one marijuana plant is notably more severe than raping a child. We can thank YOU and others like you for that.

4. Think hard now. Which of the following two groups most wants marijuana to remain as illegal as possible: Drug cartels or the people of the United States? (You might want to review some polling data before you answer)

5. Please explain why a CIA jet was found laden with four tons of cocaine. Even a one-sentence response will be fine.

6. All statistics and studies designed to measure the success of the drug war prove it is failing miserably. The usage rates have remained the same for the last several decades, and it has directly cost taxpayers many billions. (Not to mention it has indirectly cost them many more billions and many lives).

7. The drug war causes billions of dollars to be channeled to terrorist groups and organized crime. Thanks again "THEY" for helping out with that.

8. How is prohibition of MJ different from prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s? I'll answer this one for you. Alcohol is far more damaging to society, and its prohibition only lasted a handful of years instead of many decades.

The real reason alcohol and tobacco are legal is simply that half our legislators are addicted to them. And the reason they are addicted to them and not marijuana is that marijuana is not addictive ('course I admit I'm again getting this info from those silly, unreliable sources like the AMA, Ivy-league universities, and the CDC. Perhaps I need to watch more taxpayer-funded propaganda.)

5 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2009
There are studies that show that under the influence of marijuana people actually drive slower, as speed sensation increases and danger is enhanced.

Data about alcohol and driving mortality should be added...

Adding to fleem, one reason why marijuana is illegal and cigarette smoking and alcohol are not, is because people can grow marijuana at home, but not tobacco or whiskey. So "they" (owners of budweiser for exmaple) would not be able to make money of people if people shift from cigarettes and alcohol to marijuana- this is Chomsky idea.
5 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2009
" who are sensation-seekers, an average age of 27 and impulsive will consider taking the wheel after consuming cannabis more often than older peers."

But who says they will cause more accidents under the influence of pot than - say - under the influence of alcohol, which they undoubtedly ALSO disregard as a "don't drive" sign, seeing they are generally risk takers?
1 / 5 (2) Mar 12, 2009
these characters should be rounded up and gaoled forever - so they can learn what freedom costs!!
5 / 5 (2) Mar 13, 2009
How about extending this sort of study to include the effects of cannabis on road rage? Actually I have seen how it calms all sorts of rage- immediately. Don't take my word for it- test it please.
4.5 / 5 (2) Mar 16, 2009
I have never noticed this and I've had quite a bit of experience. I have however noticed a positive correlation between people who drive high, and the number of U-turns made...
5 / 5 (2) Mar 16, 2009
It doesn't really have much to do with cannabis
smokers, in general. The study group was selected
specificly for impulsive behavior, and then their
tendency to drive while stoned was evaluated.

Or, to put it another way, impulsive or thrill seeking
people might tend to use drugs inappropriately while

not rated yet Mar 16, 2009
I've never met a marijuana user that thought driving while stoned was a good idea.

I've also never met an alcohol user that thinks driving drunk is a good idea.

I've met abusers from both camps that think driving while under the influence is ok, most of them end up paying the price for that thought process. DUI, regardless of what the I is, is illegal and dumb, and if you think it's ok, you're dumb as well.

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