A study commissioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says smoking marijuana does not greatly increase the risks of crashing.

A study commissioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says smoking marijuana does not greatly increase the risks of crashing.

The study was conducted over a period of 20 months and during this time 10,858 drivers in Virginia Beach were analyzed by researchers who compared drug (and alcohol) readings from drivers involved in crashes against similar people from the same location and time of the day who didn't crash their cars. Surprisingly, the results - which took into account sex, age, ethnicityand race - say marijuana use did not generate a "significant increased risk of crash involvement."

However, NHTSA says that by excluding those demographics there's a 25 percent greater risk of a crash when the driver is under the influence but a large portion of the increase is because youngsters are usually the ones smoking marijuana and male young drivers are already the ones causing many of the accidents. According to the study, "analyses incorporating adjustments for age, gender, ethnicity, and alcohol concentration level did not show a significant increase in levels of crash risk associated with the presence of drugs."

Interestingly, the actual measured risk of drivers under the influence of marijuana's THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) effects expressed a five percent greater risk at crashing compared to a sober driver but strangely enough the percentage dropped to zero percent for those who combined marijuana with alcohol.

The study found out that drivers with a blood-alcohol content of 0.05 were twice as likely to crash compared to a sober driver while those with 0.08 were four times more prone to have an accident. In addition, the risk of crashing increased to almost eight times for those with a blood-alcohol content of 0.12.

It should be mentioned the study is not entirely accurate because the THC concentrations in the blood do not fully represent the intoxication level at that moment. Moreover, studies like this one cannot accurately establish all the effects marijuana has on a driver.

You can download the results of the study by accessing the first source link below.

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