Tuesday February 25, 2020

Here’s How Marijuana can Have an Impact on Your Driving Ability

Marijuana may affect driving ability for 12 hours after use

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Marijuana
Marijuana use may have an impact on driving ability even 12 hours after use. Pixabay

Researchers have found that marijuana use may have an impact on driving ability even 12 hours after use.

The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, found that in addition to chronic, heavy, recreational cannabis use being associated with poorer driving performance in non-intoxicated individuals compared to non-users.

While several studies have examined the direct effect of cannabis intoxication on driving, no other studies until now have examined the effects on driving in heavy marijuana users who are not high.

“People who use cannabis don’t necessarily assume that they may drive differently, even when they’re not high,” said study researcher Staci Gruber from McLean Hospital in the US.

“We’re not suggesting that everyone who uses cannabis will demonstrate impaired driving, but it’s interesting that in a sample of non-intoxicated participants, there are still differences in those who use cannabis relative to those who don’t,” Gruber added.

Marijuana
While several studies have examined the direct effect of cannabis intoxication on driving, no other studies until now have examined the effects on driving in heavy marijuana users who are not high. Pixabay

For the findings, the research team used a customised driving simulator to assess the potential impact of cannabis use on driving performance.

At the time of study, marijuana users had not used for at least 12 hours and were not intoxicated.

Overall, heavy marijuana users demonstrated poorer driving performance as compared to non-users.

For example, in the simulated driving exercise, marijuana users hit more pedestrians, exceeded the speed limit more often, made fewer stops at red lights, and made more center line crossings.

When researchers divided the marijuana users into groups based on when they started using cannabis, they found that significant driving impairment was detected and completely localized to those who began using marijuana regularly before age 16.

“It didn’t surprise us that performance differences on the driving simulator were primarily seen in the early onset group,” said study researcher Mary Kathryn Dahlgren.

According to the authors, research has consistently shown that early substance use, including the use of cannabis, is associated with poorer cognitive performance.

“What was interesting was when we examined impulsivity in our analyses, most of the differences we saw between cannabis users and healthy controls went away, suggesting that impulsivity may play a role in performance differences,” Dahlgre added.

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“There’s been a lot of interest in how we can more readily and accurately identify cannabis intoxication at the roadside, but the truth of the matter is that it is critical to assess impairment, regardless of the source or cause,” she said. o

“It’s important to be mindful that whether someone is acutely intoxicated, or a heavy recreational cannabis user who’s not intoxicated, there may be an impact on driving,” she added. (IANS)

Next Story

Over 90,000 Drivers Benefit From Uber’s Driver Welfare Programme

According to Uber, till date, micro-loans worth Rs 35.6 crore have been facilitated for thousands of drivers

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Uber
As part of socio-economic initiatives, the programme by Uber also considers education, basic needs, creating opportunities for making money and the social system, among others. Wikimedia Commons

Global ride hailing giant Uber on Thursday announced over 90,000 drivers have benefitted from its driver welfare programme — Uber Care — in one year.

Launched in 2018, Uber Care provides easy access to life insurance, family health insurance, micro-loan, etc to drivers. The top five cities where the maximum number of drivers were impacted are Delhi, Bangaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune.

“At Uber, we believe our role doesn’t end at creating opportunities by providing a platform to drivers. We have created a community of millions of drivers, and we continue to engage with them with a view to providing them with more to enrich their lives,” Pavan Vaish, Head of Central Operations, Uber India SA, said in a statement.

As part of socio-economic initiatives, the programme also considers education, basic needs, creating opportunities for making money and the social system, among others.

Health initiatives include medical check ups, and treatments of drivers and their families.

“Through our driver welfare arm, Uber Care, we have been successful in supporting and empowering thousands of drivers with improved access to life and health insurance, financial support, children’s education, and medical consultations.

“As we move ahead, we envision further strengthening access and impact of Uber Care, thereby enhancing drivers’ overall well being on and off the road,” he added.

Uber
Global ride hailing giant Uber on Thursday announced over 90,000 drivers have benefitted from its driver welfare programme — Uber Care — in one year. Wikimedia Commons

According to Uber, till date, micro-loans worth Rs 35.6 crore have been facilitated for thousands of drivers.

As part of Uber Kifayat, 34,000 car servicing packages have been facilitated, thus, resulting in overall savings worth Rs 95 lakh.

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The ride hailing major has also partnered with NGOs and experts to make the right to education more accessible to drivers’ children. (IANS)