Smoking marijuana cigarettes not only relaxes you but also affects your thinking ability and controlling yourself. It impairs judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time. Studies have found a direct relationship between blood THC concentration and impaired driving ability.
According to statistics, marijuana is the illicit drug most frequently found in the blood of drivers who have been involved in vehicle crashes, including fatal ones. Studies in this area have found that drivers with THC (the main marijuana component) in their blood were twice as likely to be culpable for a fatal crash than drivers who had not used drugs or alcohol.
How does marijuana affect the driving ability?
Researchers have shown that marijuana causes impairment in judgement, memory and every performance area that can be connected with safe driving of a vehicle, such as tracking, motor coordination, visual functions, and particularly complex tasks that require undivided attention.
At the same time, marijuana affects the brain cells responsible for body movement, balance and coordination. Driving under the influence of marijuana affects attentiveness, perception of time and speed. What’s more, your ability to draw from past driving experiences is compromised when you smoke weed.
A very important subject that should be taken into account when driving under the influence of marijuana is how much did you smoke. Studies have shown that drivers with a small quantity of THC in the blood tend to be safer and more cautious. They drive slower than they normally would. They are less likely to overtake another vehicle. And they allow for more space between their vehicle and others. Problems start when the blood contains high doses of THC. In this case, drivers tend to weave in and out of lanes more. Drivers can also react slower to traffic lights and unexpected obstacles and are less aware of their speed.
Risks related to DUI marijuana
The highest risk of getting into an accident refers to the situations when you drive immediately after smoking marijuana. This is because the effects of THC on driving are strongest during the first hour. Also, according to the researchers, people who smoke a single joint of marijuana may drive safely 2–3 hours after smoking.
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