The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said a 20-month survey of drivers in 2013 and 2014 found that while drinking dramatically raises the chance of a crash, there was no evidence that marijuana use is statistically significant in boosting wreck rates.
This is something we’ve known, but I have a feeling it’s not going to be too popular in some circles.
In fact, the NHTSA didn’t seem to be too happy about reporting their own study’s results. Check out the tortured language in their release (released on a Friday afternoon naturally):
A second survey, the largest of its kind ever conducted, assessed whether marijuana use by drivers is associated with greater risk of crashes. The survey found that marijuana users are more likely to be involved in accidents, but that the increased risk may be due in part because marijuana users are more likely to be in groups at higher risk of crashes. In particular, marijuana users are more likely to be young men â€“ a group already at high risk.
This was the most precisely controlled study of its kind yet conducted, but it measured the risk associated with marijuana at the levels found among drivers in a large community. Other studies using driving simulators and test tracks have found that marijuana at sufficient dosage levels will affect driver risk.
â€œDrivers should never get behind the wheel impaired, and we know that marijuana impairs judgment, reaction times and awareness,â€ said Jeff Michael, NHTSAâ€™s associate administrator for research and program development. â€œThese findings highlight the importance of research to better understand how marijuana use affects drivers so states and communities can craft the best safety policies.â€