Traffic Inj Prev. 2021 Jun 29:1-6. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2021.1933459. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: Reports indicate that cannabis users will adapt their driving to compensate for the perceived drug effects of cannabis. This analysis examined the relationship between driver perceptions of their state contrasted with objective measures of their performance while operating a motor vehicle.
METHODS: Data was collected from ten subjects in a study examining the effects of cannabis on driving performance. Driving performance was collected on the NADS quarter-cab miniSim, a limited field of view non-motion simulator, approximately two hours after cannabis inhalation. Driving measures of both lateral and longitudinal control were included in our analysis. Subjective measures of the effects of cannabis were collected at peak and prior to driving, using visual analog scales. Data were analyzed using the SAS GLM Select procedure with subjective effect, dosing condition (placebo vs 6.9% THC), and driving event as independent measures. The stepwise selection method was used.
RESULTS: The analysis of each of the subjective effects showed significant differences between the placebo and the active cannabis dosed conditions. While we found variance in difference between group means, there was greater variability between subject values. We found that subjective measures were predictive of variance in driver inputs, such as steering frequency and steering reversal rate. Variance in SDLP and other driving performance measures, however, were predicted by dosing condition.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, some of the effects perceived by the driver were better related to changes in driver inputs rather than the presence of cannabis itself. Changes in performance measures such as SDLP are better explained by dosing condition. Thus, driver’s perceptions may result in changes to driving behavior that could mitigate the effect of cannabis. For both lateral and longitudinal control, an increasing perception of stimulation produced a positive effect on performance. Our results provide a better understanding of how different strains of cannabis, which produce different subjective experiences for users, could impact driving safety. Specifically, we found drug effects that produce more stimulation results in less impact on driving, while those that produce a more stoned or high feeling results in a greater negative effect on driving.
Source: ncbi 2