News

Will traffic deaths rise as states legalize pot?

Will traffic deaths rise as states legalize pot?

DRIVING WHILE STONED: Marijuana can slow decision-making, decrease peripheral vision and impede multitasking — all those are important driving skills. Photo: clipart.com

JOAN LOWY, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Safety advocates worry that more drivers high on pot will lead to a big increase in traffic deaths as states liberalize their marijuana laws.

Researchers who have studied the issue are divided.

Marijuana can slow decision-making, decrease peripheral vision and impede multitasking — all those are important driving skills.

But unlike with alcohol, stoned drivers tend to be aware they’re impaired. And they try to compensate by driving slowly, avoiding risky actions such as passing other cars, and allowing extra room between vehicles.

Combining marijuana with alcohol appears to eliminate that caution and increase driving impairment beyond the effects of either substance alone.

Jonathan Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Association says legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington is a wake-up call for safety advocates.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Springfield Fire Captain Arrested for Wielding Gun

gun

The Menard County Sheriff's office says a Springfield Fire Department captain has been arrested for carrying a shotgun into a rural Athens home and threatening residents.

in Local

State Attorney General Warns Against Immigration Scammers

immigration reform

Lisa Madigan's office warns those applying for deportation relief to be on the lookout for scammers posing as Notarios.

in Local

Cullerton Helps Veterans Transition to Civilian Life

Tom Cullerton

HJR 91 helps returning veterans transition back to civilian life.

in Local

New Lincoln Exhibit Opens Today at Presidental Museum & Library

Lincoln Presidential Museum

New exhibit celebrates 150th anniversary of Lincoln's death and 10th anniversary of ALPLM.

in Local

Court Date Set to Determine State Retiree Healthcare Refunds

state_capitol_3

The state will refund money to about 75,000 state retirees who've been paying a portion of their pensions for health insurance.