Source: Canberra Times (Australia)
Pubdate: Wed, 21 Oct 1998


ADELAIDE:  Drivers who use marijuana are less likely to cause road
accidents than drunk drivers or even drug-free drivers, a study has found.

The study, the most comprehensive of its kind in the world, prompted
researchers to warn against diverting resources from anti-drink driving
campaigns to campaigns against driving under the influence of drugs.
Conducted by a team from the University of Adelaide's pharmacology
department and Transport SA, the study used analyses of blood samples from
2500 drivers injured in accidents in South Australia. In their attempt to
define whether cannabis and other drugs played a large role in road
accidents, researchers used information from the police report on each
crash to determine whether the injured driver was culpable.

Drug-free drivers caused the accidents in 53.5 per cent of cases.

Injured drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration of more than 0.05 per
cent were culpable in nearly 90 per cent of accidents they were involved
in. Drivers with cannabis in their blood were less likely to cause an
accident, with a culpability rate of 50.6 per cent.

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Checked-by: Joel W. Johnson