Tag Archives: driving

Stoned Vs Drunk Driving: New Study Reveals Which Is More Dangerous

Getting behind the wheel while stoned is indeed dangerous but not nearly as much as previously thought, according to a study by two Norwegian researchers.

Published in the journal Addiction, the study investigated how likely drivers who had been using cannabis were to get into a car accident. The researchers looked at 20 studies and two meta-analyses published between 1982 and 2015.

The study reportedly has a more unusual conclusion than previous research because it corrected for perceived methodological flaws of past studies. These methodological inaccuracies mean previous studies overestimated the risk of marijuana use while driving, according to the paper.

“Higher estimates from earlier meta-reviews were found to be largely driven by methodological issue,” said the authors. “In particular the use of data without adjustment for known confounders,” which include gender and age.

Correcting for these factors altered the results, giving a lower-risk profile. “Acute cannabis intoxication is related to a statistically significant risk increase of low to moderate magnitude [odds ratio between 1.2 and 1.4],” the study said.

These figures compare very favorably to alcohol, according a 2015 study by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (pdf). The study found that those driving with the legal amount of booze in their systems have an almost four-fold increased risk of crashing.

59 percent of Americans support decriminalizing marijuana and 52 percent say they are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, according to a Morning Consult poll conducted for Vox and published last Tuesday. The poll defined decriminalization as “no arrest, prison time, or criminal record for the first-time possession of a small amount of that drug for personal use.” Morning Consult polled 1,994 registered voters between March 10 and March 13, 2016.

The data reflects similar findings from pollsters YouGov, Gallup and the Pew Research Center. (RELATED Poll: Majority Of Americans Support Marijuana Legalization)

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Police want app ‘Waze’ to be disabled

A smartphone app called Waze, which allows drivers to mark where they spot police cars along roadsides, is under fire by police officers who want the app disabled.

Waze, which was bought by Google in 2013 for $966 million, is a free, social media type app which allows drivers to interact in real-time with other drivers on the road. The app currently has 50 million users in over 200 countries.

Traffic conditions are constantly updated within the app and any route detours or bad road conditions are also made visible for other drivers to see. The app also allows users to mark where they spot police cars on the road, but whether the police cars are part of a speed trap or a DUI checkpoint is not viewable.

Sheriff Mike Brown of Bedford County, Virginia has a problem with the app though. According to the Inquisitr, Brown said, “The police community needs to coordinate an effort to have the owner, Google, act like the responsible corporate citizen they have always been and remove this feature from the application even before any litigation or statutory action.”

A reserve deputy sheriff in Southern California is also calling the app a “stalking app” according to Gulf News. Sergio Kopelev believes allowing people to mark where police officers are puts officers in danger because anyone with a grudge against police can then easily locate officers.

Jim Pasco, an executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, agrees with Kopelev saying, “I can think of 100 ways that it could present an officer-safety issue. There’s no control over who uses it. So, if you’re a criminal and you want to rob a bank, hypothetically, you use your Waze.”

While police officers are asking for the app to be disabled, others are defending the app.

Nuala O’Connor, the head of the Washington Civil Rights group the Center for Democracy and Technology, has said according to NBC Washington, “I do not think it is legitimate to ask a person-to-person communication to cease simply because it reports on publicly visible law enforcement.”

O’Connor did raise concerns about how much privacy Waze users can expect since their movements are being tracked when the app is turned on.

As of now, Google reportedly has no plans to disable the app or restrict it in anyway.