Legal pot raising drugged driving fears among US motorists
The study, from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, reports that nearly half of the country's drivers are more concerned about the dangers posed by drugged drivers now than three years ago, with a staggering 85 percent of people surveyed supporting weed impairment laws. The big problem, though, is that measuring the THC in a driver's system is far more difficult than measuring alcohol.
"While all states prohibit driving under the influence of drugs, there's significant variation in the minimum acceptable levels of marijuana or its traces in a driver's system," Peter Kissinger, the president and CEO of the AAA Foundation.
It isn't just the legalization of pot that's troubling American motorists, though. Prescription and over-the-counter medications is also worrying, with over 25 percent of drivers surveyed expressing the same "very serious" concern they showed for marijuana use, and for fairly good reason. According to AAA, drivers who take some cold and flu meds then crawl behind the wheel may experience the same effects as a few too many cocktails.
"Just because a doctor prescribes a drug, or you can purchase it over-the-counter doesn't necessarily mean it is safe to use while driving," AAA's Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy, Jake Nelson, said. "Always discuss potential side effects and interactions with your doctor or pharmacist before getting behind the wheel."
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