can double fatal car crash risk: study
Dec 1, 2005
LONDON (Reuters) - Driving
under the influence of cannabis can double the odds of
causing a fatal car crash and the risk increases if the
drug is combined with alcohol, French scientists said on
Researchers from the French
National Institute for Transport and Safety Research (INRETS)
who studied 10,748 drivers involved in fatal car crashes
from 2001-2003, said about 7 percent tested positive for
cannabis and 21.4 percent for alcohol.
Nearly 3 percent were under
the influence of both.
"Driving under the
influence of cannabis doubles, on average, the risk of
being responsible for a fatal accident," said Jean-Louis
Martin, a co-author of the study.
In the British Medical
Journal online, the researchers said men were more often
involved in crashes then women. They also tested positive
more frequently for both cannabis and alcohol, along with
younger drivers and people who used mopeds and
Although the prevalence of
cannabis and alcohol among drivers was similar at about
2.8 percent, the use of alcohol was associated with many
more deadly car crashes.
The researchers also found
that the more cannabis smoked or alcohol consumed, the
higher the chance of being involved in a fatal accident.