A car crash, something that most of us at one point or another experience,
can have devastating effects on a person's life. While fortunately
most of us involved in a car crash only suffer temporary injuries that
heal over time, some
car crashes have more traumatic and lasting effects. Most
car accidents are simply the result of careless or inattentive driving. Some however,
involve more egregious conduct, such as driving while impaired - persons
who drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Many of us can
relate to periodically being less careful than we should, or sometimes
paying less attention to road conditions than we should. However, for
most of us, it is harder to relate to a driver who intentionally chooses
to drink alcohol or who uses drugs, gets behind the wheel, and either
injures or kills an innocent person.
Car Crash Statistics Related To Marijuana Impaired Drivers
Some interesting statistics are coming to light that pertain to marijuana
use and its role in car crashes. Since the legalization of marijuana for
personal use in some states, certain trends have been noted by researchers
from Columbia University. In a new study published in the American Journal
of Epidemiology, researchers found that as medical marijuana sales expanded
into twenty states, legal marijuana was detected in the bodies of dead
car crash drivers three times more often during 2010 when compared to
those who died behind the wheel in a
car crash in 1999. "The trend suggests that marijuana is playing an increased
role in fatal crashes," said Dr. Guohua Li, a co-author and director
of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University
Medical Center. The Columbia study went on to explain that alcohol remains,
by far, the most common mind-altering substance detected in dead drivers.
Second to alcohol, cannabinol, a remnant of marijuana, was found in 12.2
percent of deceased drivers during 2010, up from 4.2 percent in 1999.
The study found that marijuana was the most prevalent non-alcoholic drug
detected by toxicology screenings.