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

Woman Killed After Pickup Runs Through Nursing Home

Fresh
fatalaccident1240

The collision killed 88-year-old Anna Dykstra...

in Local

Junior Leadership Application Deadline Approaching

Fresh
News Chamber1240

Applications are being accepted through September 9th...

in Local

Grand Avenue Bridge Monuments Stabilization Discussed

Fresh
News CitySpencer1240

The city found excessive settlements at the four corners of the bridge monuments in 2013...

in Local

Bar Burglars Caught

Updated
Clay Sheriff Dept 1240

Two from Cherokee face charges in connection to a string of burglaries...

in Local

LeMars Officer Assaulter Found

News Arrest1240 1

A LeMars man suspected in the assault of a LeMars resident and a Merrill police officer