Anyone who consumes cannabis on a regular basis knows that it doesn’t make you a dangerous driver. Many people find that it makes them a safer, more focused driver; one that’s more aware of their surroundings and the dangers associated with controlling tons of gasoline-filled metal. Not only has this been an anecdotal truth for as long as cars and cannabis have been paired, science has also been clear that consuming marijuana doesn’t make you a dangerous driver, and may make some people safer drivers. More research is needed, but it’s hard to deny that of the research we have, marijuana hasn’t been found to increase a person’s risk of an accident.
To back this claim up, here’s a list of studies and research conducted on this very topic, some of which were funded by national governments in hopes of different results. (Sources are hyperlinked).
- “20 years of study has concluded that marijuana smokers may actually have fewer accidents than other drivers.” – 4AutoInsuranceQuote.com; Reasons why marijuana users are safe drivers, 2012
- “States that legalize medical marijuana see fewer fatal car accidents, according to a new study, in part because people may be substituting marijuana smoking for drinking alcohol.” Time Magazine; Why Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Traffic Deaths, 2011
- “No differences were found during the baseline driving segment (and the) collision avoidance scenarios,” – Research published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 2010
- “Although cognitive studies suggest that cannabis use may lead to unsafe driving, experimental studies have suggested that it can have the opposite effect.” - U.S. National Library of Medicine; The Effect Of Cannabis Compared With Alcohol On Driving, 2009
- “The evidence to suggest an involvement of cannabis in road crashes is scientifically unproven.” - Research paper; Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential, 2002
- “Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving.” – Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs; Cannabis: Summary Report: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy, 2002
- “There is no evidence that consumption of cannabis alone increases the risk of culpability for traffic crash fatalities or injuries for which hospitalization occurs, and may reduce those risks.” - Research paper published in Epidemiologic Reviews; Role of cannabis in motor vehicle crashes, 1999
- “Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourages greater caution” - University of Adelaide study; Marijuana’s effects on actual driving performance, 1995
- “Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain insight in their performance and will compensate when they can, for example, by slowing down or increasing effort. As a consequence, THC’s adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small.” – U.S. Department of Transportation study; Marijuana and actual driving performance, 1993