News

Will traffic deaths rise as states legalize pot?

Will traffic deaths rise as states legalize pot?

DRIVING WHILE STONED: Marijuana can slow decision-making, decrease peripheral vision and impede multitasking — all those are important driving skills. Photo: clipart.com

JOAN LOWY, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Safety advocates worry that more drivers high on pot will lead to a big increase in traffic deaths as states liberalize their marijuana laws.

Researchers who have studied the issue are divided.

Marijuana can slow decision-making, decrease peripheral vision and impede multitasking — all those are important driving skills.

But unlike with alcohol, stoned drivers tend to be aware they’re impaired. And they try to compensate by driving slowly, avoiding risky actions such as passing other cars, and allowing extra room between vehicles.

Combining marijuana with alcohol appears to eliminate that caution and increase driving impairment beyond the effects of either substance alone.

Jonathan Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Association says legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington is a wake-up call for safety advocates.

Local Headlines

in Local

Law Enforcement Reports

Fresh
lawenforcement1240

A Spencer man wanted on six warrants was taken into custody on Monday...

in Local

Arnolds Park Accident

Car Accident 1280

Two Lakes area people are injured in a two vehicle accident...

in Local

Highway 18 Accident

ambulance2

Two are injured in a multi vehicle accident east of Algona...

in Local

Rock Island Project Opposition

wind turbine

Over 1000 Iowans, including some local have objections to a two billion dollar project...

in Local

Spencer School Buildings

adminbuilding1240

The Spencer schools are looking at building projects...