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Marijuana use can affect driving, cause accidents

Particularly with the growing tolerance for marijuana use throughout the United States, but especially in western states near Nevada, Reno residents are going to encounter more and more people on the road who have the drug in their system.

Scientifically speaking, there is a clear connection between marijuana use and slower reaction times. A driver's coordination and judgment are also impeded when the driver is under the influence of the drug. In short, as is the case with a drunk driver, a driver under the influence of marijuana is simply not well-equipped to be driving a car or other vehicle, and therefore may cause serious injuries should they choose to do so.

The statistics suggest that such is the case. According to one analysis of the available data, a person was twice as likely to be in a car accident after he or she used the drug.

It should be granted, though, that sometimes the mere presence of marijuana in one's system is not a reliable indicator of whether a person was under the influence of the drug, as the drug remains detectable via blood tests for days after a person uses it, that is, long after any "high" the person got from the drug wears off.

Furthermore, some studies have suggested that marijuana, standing alone, is not a risk factor for accidents; what really matters is whether a person chooses to use marijuana in combination with another drug, such as alcohol.

In any event, though, drunk driving accidents or, for that matter, drugged driving accidents, can leave a Nevada resident seriously injured or even dead simply because of another person's irresponsible choices. When this happens, victims may be entitled to compensation.

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