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Pot Plays Role in More than 1 in 10 Traffic Deaths

Rate of fatal accidents related to marijuana has tripped in the past decade.

Researchers at Columbia University have found that marijuana contributed to 12% of U.S. traffic deaths in 2010. That’s three times more than in 1990.

Young motorists are particularly vulnerable, reports USA Today. Nearly half of the drivers who died in car accidents and who tested positive for pot were under the age of 25.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 4% of drivers were high during the day and 6% were high at night, except on the weekends when that figure more than doubled.

Despite the increase in marijuana-related traffic fatalities, most high schoolers don’t think pot is harmful. The percentage of high-schoolers who see great risk from being regular marijuana users has dropped dramatically in the past 10 years, according to last year’s Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey. In fact, 60% of 12th graders don’t think it’s harmful.

A study is currently being conducted to determine how pot that is inhaled affects driving performance.

Photo via Wikimedia

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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