Some states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Will the introduction of that legalization affect the accident rates in the same states?
Known effects of marijuana
• A slowing of reactions
• Difficulty with concentrating
• Memory becomes dimmer
• Increased level of anxiety, which could trigger panic
• Possible decrease in blood pressure, which could cause fainting
How does marijuana’s known effects relate to required skills for drivers?
A slowing of reactions means the demonstration of poor reaction times. In other words, a driver that had come under marijuana’ influence would not hit the brakes quite as fast, when spotting a red light, or the red taillights of the vehicle in front of that same driver.
Suppose the same driver were to approach an intersection where a pedestrian is crossing to the other side of the street. What might happen then? That situation underscores the significance of a different effect.A good driver concentrates on the road and on the actions of the other drivers. Yet marijuana causes the user to have trouble concentrating. For that reason, he or she would have trouble paying attention to the road and to other drivers.
By the same token, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Waterloo knows that the driver that has used marijuana could lack the ability to pay attention to any pedestrians, anyone on a bicycle, and even the speed of his or her own vehicle. Obviously, the development of that condition could invite an accident’s occurrence.
How should governments respond to the information on the effects of marijuana?
It is obvious that those effects could cause an affected driver to suffer an impairment of his or her driving skills. For that reason, local and state governments should act to prevent accidents that have been caused by impaired driving.
What sort of actions could such governments take? Certainly, any driver that did not appear to be concentrating on the road and the other drivers should be pulled over. He or she might be asked to take part in a certain exercise, a type of test. That test should be one that has been designed to check for a driver’s ability to concentrate.
If the same driver were issued a fine, then insurance companies could also help to prevent accidents. Each of them could increase the size of the premiums for someone that has been hit with such a fine. Over time, someone that has been forced to pay a series of such fines might have trouble renewing insurance, or renewing a driver’s license.
Governments could request development of tests for reaction speed. A driver that had slower than normal reaction speed might also get fined. Those steps should help to prevent at least some accidents, although certainly not all of them.