Another “study” this week claims that stoned drivers are better drivers, at least when compared to those who are drunk behind the wheel.
That might be true, but the report's basis is pretty weak. What we're given, really, is a shallow look at other studies, and a list of the “Top 10 Reasons Marijuana Users Are Safer Drivers.”
Oh, and you're encouraged to realize that “the key to safer driving is to use marijuana, but to do it under-wraps.” Really. Let us explain:
The website 4AutoinsuranceQuote.org, put out a press release touting its “study,” which “looks at statistics regarding accidents, traffic violations, and insurance prices,” and “seeks to dispel the thought that 'driving while stoned' is dangerous.”
The release and a blog post by the insurance quote site summarize other folks' studies, some of them debunked, some of them dating back to … 1983. You read that right. It's just a rehash of half-truths.
The overriding theme is that, for various reasons, stoned drivers aren't dangerous. Reasons cited include stoners slower driving and their tendency to stay home rather than go out partying.
Recent research seems to contradict these “findings.” For example, the British Medical Journal recently published a study stating that stoned drivers are twice as likely to crash as sober ones.
Meanwhile, claims that the insurance site did its own research lead nowhere. A link titled, “To view OUR study … “ (emphasis ours), leads to a summary of two outside studies looking at the top cities for drunk driving convictions and DUI-related deaths.
On top of all that, the company suggests that pot smokers should see lower car insurance rates because of their skills behind the wheel.
CEO James Shaffer goes so far as to say:
What law enforcement agencies and insurers do not understand is that driving while high is actually a safe activity. I guess the key to safer driving is to use marijuana, but to do it under-wraps.