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J Safety Res. 2014 Jun;49:19-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2014.02.002. Epub 2014 Apr 24.

Relationships between frequency of driving under the influence of cannabis, self-reported reckless driving and risk-taking behavior observed in a driving simulator.

Author information

1
Département de psychologie, Université de Montréal, CP 6128, succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada. Electronic address: jacques.bergeron@umontreal.ca.
2
Département de psychologie, Université de Montréal, CP 6128, succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada. Electronic address: martin.paquette@umontreal.ca.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The role of cannabis consumption in traffic crashes is unclear and the causal link between cannabis and collisions is still to be demonstrated. While cannabis use is very likely to impair driving ability, there is as yet no overwhelming evidence that cannabis use in isolation contributes more to collisions than other characteristics inherent to cannabis users. As noted in a growing body of literature, individuals driving under the influence of cannabis (DUIC) seem to exhibit a general reckless driving style putting them at higher risk to be involved in traffic crashes.

METHOD:

This study aims at investigating the relationship between self-reported DUIC and reckless driving by means of self-reported measures and direct observations made in a driving simulator. Participants (n=72) were required to be between 18 and 25 years of age, to hold a valid driver's license, and to drive at least twice a week. They completed standard driving simulation tasks recreating everyday on-road trivial conditions.

RESULTS:

Results show that people admitting that they commit more real-life dangerous driving behaviors reached higher maximum speed and demonstrated more reckless driving behaviors on the driving simulation tasks. Self-reported DUIC is associated with a risky driving style including a broad range of reckless on-road behaviors and support the problem driving behavior theory. Moreover, beyond confounding factors, both self-report DUIC and observed dangerous behaviors are associated with real-life traffic violations.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS:

Since DUIC appears to be related to an overall reckless style of driving, it is proposed that public safety policies should be more holistic, simultaneously targeting multiple on-road dangerous behaviors for intervention.

KEYWORDS:

Cannabis use; Driving simulator; Risky behaviors; Traffic violations; Young drivers

PMID:
24913481
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsr.2014.02.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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