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 |  Feb 13 2012, 4:45 PM

You should know that it’s dangerous to drive under the influence of drugs, but did you know that smoking marijuana doubles the chance of getting into a serious car accident?

A study by researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada is the first to examine the acute use of cannabis and the risk of auto collisions in real-life situations. Researchers reviewed nine observational studies that gave them a sample of 49,411 accident victims. After alcohol and other drugs were ruled out as factors, the researchers calculated the odds for cases where marijuana was found in a blood test. They were able to determine that if cannabis was smoked three hours before getting behind the wheel, a driver’s chances of getting into a serious car accident doubles.

An important factor the researchers were unable to determine was how much tetrahydrocannabionol (THC) needs to be present in the blood stream to cause impairment.

This study is an important step to show how dangerous smoking pot is before driving, but more research still needs to be done. Even though drinking and driving is the most common substance connected with auto crashes, this research will help bring the dangers of drug use and driving to the public’s attention.

[Source: CBC News]