The dangers of driving while stoned

More people are driving under the influence of marijuana. A 2015 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found 13 percent of nighttime, weekend drivers have marijuana in their system.

More people are driving under the influence of marijuana. A 2015 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found 13 percent of nighttime, weekend drivers have marijuana in their system.

That is up from nine percent in 2007. After alcohol, marijuana is the drug most often linked to drugged driving.

Make no mistake about it, marijuana is illegal in Texas. And if you're pulled over and found to be under the influence, you'll be charged with DWI. For years now debate has raged about whether driving high is as dangerous as driving drunk.

A study by the NHTSA found drivers are seven times for likely to have an accident when drinking and driving. That same study found there was no statistically significant change in your risk of an accident if you were to smoke prior to driving.

That does not mean it's okay to light up and hit the road.

A 2012 study by the National Institute of Health found marijuana negatively impacts a number of skills required for safe driving. It slows drivers' reaction time and ability to make decisions. It impairs coordination and distorts perception. And if mixed with alcohol, the effects are even greater and more dangerous.

Scientists agree a lot more research is necessary to fully determine marijuana's impact on drivers, but the smartest thing to do, if you're going to get behind the wheel, don't consume alcohol or marijuana.
 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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