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Teens using marijuana and alcohol have higher car accident risk

A study conducted by University of Michigan researchers shows some statistics regarding teenage driving and drug use habits that may leave many Wisconsin parents concerned. Indeed, the statistics show that teens, who within the last 12 months have combined the use of alcohol and marijuana, are much more likely to get into a car accident. To avoid the loss of a loved one like this, some parents may want to discuss safe driving practices with the teenage drivers in their family.

The statistics suggest that 40 percent of high school aged drivers who say they have drunk alcohol while high on marijuana during the proceeding year have received a police traffic warning or citation. Additionally, 30 percent of this same pool of students had been through a car crash. It is important to point out that these figures are not for teens driving while drunk and high. They are simply for teens who had mixed these substances and used them at the same time.

Researchers were left baffled by the study results, saying that they were not sure why these teens suffered from an increased risk of getting into a car crash. However, they theorize that drug users and those who are willing to mix the use of two intoxicants at the same time are more likely to take risks in general. The lead researcher of the study said that driver's education classes need to focus on the risks of drug and alcohol use, and the general public should also be made aware of these risks.

Considering that many states are in the process of legalizing marijuana use for medicinal and recreational purposes, the availability and acceptance of the drug has increased widely. For this reason, it is important to bring awareness to the fact that marijuana is an intoxicant, and its effects are even more powerful and dangerous when combined with alcohol. Also, drivers convicted of causing a drunk driving car accident can face stiff criminal consequences. A victim's family members can also hold them financially liable in civil court for the pain and suffering, loss of life, funeral expenses and other unfortunate costs arising from the accident.

Source: universityherald.com, "Teens Who Use Alcohol, Marijuana Simultaneously May Be At An Increased Risk For Unsafe Driving" Jaleesa Baulkman, Apr. 28, 2014

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