Cannabis Use Linked With Dangerous Driving Behaviors

by VR Sreeraman on  March 13, 2009 at 12:33 PM Research News   - G J E 4
 Cannabis Use Linked With Dangerous Driving Behaviors
Thrill-seeking youngsters are likely to engage in reckless driving when under the influence of cannabis (DUIC), finds a new study.

The study led by researchers from University of Montreal showed that men who are sensation-seekers, an average age of 27 and impulsive will consider taking the wheel after consuming cannabis more often than older peers.

"We observed that dangerous driving behaviours are interrelated. Individuals scoring high on impulsivity or sensation-seeking scales demonstrated an elevated risk of driving under the influence of cannabis," said senior author Jacques Bergeron, a professor at the Universite de Montreal's Department of Psychology.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the association between driving under the influence of cannabis and a wide range of dangerous driving behaviours," he added.

During the study, the researchers recruited 83 men aged 17 to 49. They were observed in driving simulation tests and questioned about their driving history.

Males were selected as a target group, since statistics show that men engage more often in dangerous driving and DUIC compared to women.

They found that 35 percent of their sample group had been involved in one or more road crashes with material damage in the previous three years.

Moreover, 30 participants admitted to using cannabis, and 80 percent of those users reported at least one incidence of DUIC in the previous 12 months.

"Our study found that men with self-reported DUIC tend to be associated with an increased risk of being involved in a car accident," said lead author Isabelle Richer, a PhD candidate at the Universite de Montreal's Department of Psychology

The study appears in journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention.

Source: ANI

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