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Marijuana use causing more fatal car accidents

Last week we discussed how "buzzed" drivers can be very dangerous behind the wheel. In addition to the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol, it is also very risky to drive under the influence of drugs. Unfortunately, drugged driving has increased in the United States and has led to an increase in car accidents caused by drivers under the influence of marijuana. 

Fatal car accidents involving drivers with marijuana in their system have tripled in the last 10 years, according to Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. The researchers said that in fatal accidents, one in nine drivers would have marijuana in their system. They believe if this continues drugged driving will contribute to more fatal crashes than drunk driving in the future in the U.S. 

The study found that more fatal car accidents involved drugs than in previous years. In 2010, more than 28 percent of fatal crashes involved drivers under the influence of drugs, compared to more than 16 percent back in 1999. The study also found that marijuana was the most used drug in fatal crashes and led to 12 percent of accidents in 2010 compared to only 4 percent in 1999.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is very dangerous. Researchers said that marijuana impairs a driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle because a driver's vision and judgment. Marijuana use can significantly increase the chances of being in a car accident, and this study shows the dangerous impact drug use can have on drivers. 

Source: WebMD, "Fatal Car Crashes Involving Pot Use Have Tripled In U.S., Study Finds," Dennis Thompson, Feb. 4, 2014

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