Drugged Driving: Study Shows Significant Driving Impairment 5 Hours After Marijuana Use

Driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous. To show that, a new drugged driving survey has been released by McGill University and researchers found that drivers are at greater risk of crashing their vehicle even five hours after cannabis use! So, your “you smoked earlier and you’re fine” defense won’t work here.

Drugged driving causes driving impairments

Drugged Driving Study

This new drugged driving study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. It just so happens that recreational marijuana use was approved and goes into affect today in Canada. Coincidental timing, huh? The study was done on 45 people between the ages of 18 and 24 who were already recreational marijuana users. They were tested on a driving simulator at four different stages: before inhaling a regular dose of cannabis (100 milligrams), then one, three and five hours afterwards. The results may shock you!

Driving Under The Influence Of Marijuana Is Dangerous!

Researchers found that the subjects who consumed marijuana had difficulty performing certain maneuvers while behind the wheel. This meant they were at a greater risk of crashing a vehicle. Participants were able to perform simple driving tasks, like braking and steering. However, the more complicated scenarios threw them off. They had trouble parking between two cars at a shopping center, avoiding pedestrians and cyclists and passing through an intersection.

Isabelle Gelinas, a professor in McGill’s school of physical and occupational therapy, was a co-author of the study. There was no significant improvement in drivers’ abilities five hours after they consumed. She said, “At all levels, we did not necessarily see a marked difference, even after five hours. Their capacities were quite impaired, which tells us they could not take the wheel.” Since the study did not test past five hours, we don’t know how long afterwards the marijuana use would affect a driver.