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Smoking pot risk of car crash

Posted by 24hourattorney on February 11, 2012
24 hour attorney, 24 hour lawyer, Car Crash, Car accident, attorneys 24/7, car collided, crash / No Comments

Smoking pot within three hours of driving doubles your chance of a major crash, Canadian researchers have found.

Their study, published Thursday in the British Medical Journal, the first to tackle the link between crashes and cannabis use, examined data from more than 49,411 vehicular crash victims and excluded any incidents involving alcohol.

“The level of impairment might not be as severe as alcohol intoxication, but it’s there and it does require a public health response,” expert Wayne Hall told ABC Science.

The researchers said more information is needed to determine the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)- the active compound in marijuana – that causes impairment in driving competence.

But there is a positive link between THC levels and crash risk, the data show.

Despite the clear danger of driving high, law enforcement agencies have very few tools to address the problem, the expert said, despite the fact that that marijuana is the second-most sited substance in motor vehicle incidents.

Although it is easy to measure blood alcohol levels using a breath test, it is much harder to determine concentrations of THC in the saliva and gauge driver impairment on the spot, Hall added.

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Newsman Richard Threlkeld Dies in Car Accident – ABC News

Richard Threlkeld, a far-ranging and award-winning correspondent who worked for both CBS and ABC News during a long career, has been killed in a car crash on New York’s Long Island.

The 74-year-old Threlkeld died Friday morning in Amagansett, N.Y., when his car collided with a propane tanker.

He was pronounced dead at Southampton Hospital, according to the East Hampton, N.Y., Police Department. He lived in nearby East Hampton.

Newsman Richard Threlkeld Dies in Car Accident – ABC News.

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Study: Tougher teen driving laws would save lives, money

Insurance and safety advocates said Tuesday that nationwide restrictions on teenage driver’s licenses could save 2,000 lives and billions of dollars each year.

In a report released Tuesday, the National Safety Council, a congressionally chartered independent research agency, asked what would happen if a variety of laws known generally as “graduated driver licensing,” or GDL, were fully adopted in all 50 states.

Besides saving about 2,000 lives, universal adoption would also save more than $13 billion a year, said the report, which was funded by the Allstate Foundation, charitable and research group supported by insurance giant Allstate Corp.

GDL laws include more than just legislating that teenagers can’t get driver’s licenses until they’re 18. They also encompass bans on texting and other cellphone use while driving, restrictions on nighttime driving by 16- and 17-year-olds and limits on the number of passengers in a car driven by a teen. They’re currently a patchwork, with some states’ having adopted most restrictions and others’ having adopted as few as one, said John Ulczycki, the safety council’s group vice president for research.

Projections on death were derived from baseline data published in a 2007 report (.pdf) examining GDL laws by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and “what we know from (that) study is that when a state passes a GDL with one component, it gets a 4 percent reduction in deaths,” Ulczycki told msnbc.com.

More on graduated driver licensing:

Ulczycki acknowledged that the 2007 AAA report used data that went back as far as 1994, but he said that because the safety council was looking simply at lives saved year over year, “the total number of lives saved each year” was statistically sound.

For the cost savings, the safety council used its own annual data on crashes involving teenage drivers, compiling reports on medical expenses, wage and insurance losses, police and ambulance costs, vehicle damage and costs to employers for lost productivity. The report’s projections were compared to costs from 2009, when the safety council calculated that teen crashes cost the U.S. $38.3 billion annually.

Study: Tougher teen driving laws would save lives, money.

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Woman killed, passenger critical in one-car accident

Updated: December 6, 2011, 4:09 PM

The driver of a vehicle that failed to stop at a Chautauqua County intersection was killed and her passenger critically injured late Monday in a Town of Poland crash.

The 36 year old women, who was driving west on Hartson Road shortly before midnight in a 2001 Mazda, failed to stop at the intersection of Stone Road, sheriff’s deputies said.

The woman applied her brakes as she passed through the “T” intersection, but was unable to stop, deputies said.

Her car then left the road and went over an embankment, hitting a large tree head-on and came to rest in Cassadaga Creek.

Emergency responders pronounced the woman dead at the scene and removed her passenger, a male, 41, from the vehicle, deputies said. The man was taken to WCA Hospital in Jamestown and then transferred to Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa., where he is listed in critical condition.

Deputies said the investigation into the accident continues.

citydesk@buffnews.com

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