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Things You Need to Know About Marijuana Use and Driving

smoking marijuana while driving

With the legalization of marijuana in some states for either medicinal or recreational use, it’s important to understand the potential effects of its use on daily activities, particularly dangerous ones such as operating a motor vehicle. Studies show that marijuana use has a significant impact on motor coordination and reaction time. There is also a correlation between impaired driving ability and THC levels in the bloodstream.

THC is a compound found in cannabis that can significantly reduce motor skills. It’s also common for people to combine marijuana with alcohol. This is a potentially dangerous and even deadly mix when you get behind the wheel, so if you’ve found yourself needing legal advice due to an accident, contact a Bay Area car accident attorney.

As States legalize Marijuana, the number of accidents increases

As marijuana becomes legalized in certain states, new evidence shows that car crashes rise. But, evidence suggests that car accidents are more common for people who combine marijuana and alcohol. Marijuana (THC), which is also known as marijuana, is most often found in bloodstreams of people involved in vehicular accidents.

To be fair, there isn’t a lot of evidence that THC itself increases accidents, only when combined with alcohol use. The legalization of marijuana could lead to more people being able to mix the two and get behind the wheel. Research shows that higher levels of THC or alcohol correlate with increased accidents.

What Marijuana Does to the Body

THC immediately affects the body’s cognitive and motor skills, which are essential for safely operating a vehicle. Balance, perception, memory, reaction time, and visual processing are just a few of the body’s functions affected by THC in the bloodstream. These effects can last for several days because THC is a long-lasting substance that stays in your bloodstream.

Individual tolerance levels, timing and THC consumption all play a role in how your body reacts to the drug. This combination of unpredictable factors and alcohol is what causes most marijuana-related crashes. Combining the two is more dangerous than using them individually. 

The Law: What Is It?

In short, it’s illegal in all 50 statesIt is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under any form of drug or alcohol. These include legal and illicit drugs like alcohol, marijuana, and other substances. Regardless of whether it’s legal to use marijuana in your states or not, it is illegal to use it while driving a car. Law enforcement is trained to identify impaired drivers, so don’t take the chance.

Responsible Living: How do you show your responsibility?

Save lives is paramount, even your own. You can reduce your chance of being in an accident by making smart decisions about marijuana usage and driving. Plan ahead by having a designated sober driver if you’re planning on traveling, never let your friends get behind the wheel while under the influence, and always wear your seatbelt to protect yourself from others on the road that may be under the influence.