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The effects of cannabis and alcohol on simulated arterial driving: Influences of driving experience and task demand.

Abstract

This study compared the effects of three doses of cannabis and alcohol (placebo, low and high doses), both alone and in combination, on the driving performance of young, novice drivers and more experienced drivers. Alcohol was administered as ethanol (95%) mixed with orange juice in doses of approximately 0, 0.4 and 0.6g/kg. Cannabis was administered by inhalation of smoke from pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes (supplied by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, USA). Active cigarettes contained 19 mg delta-9-THC. Using a counterbalanced design, the simulated driving performance of 25 experienced and 22 inexperienced drivers was tested under the nine different drug conditions in an arterial driving environment during which workload was varied through the drive characteristics as well as through the inclusion of a secondary task. High levels of cannabis generally induced greater impairment than lower levels, while alcohol at the doses used had few effects and did not produce synergistic effects when combined with cannabis. Both cannabis and alcohol were associated with increases in speed and lateral position variability, high dose cannabis was associated with decreased mean speed, increased mean and variability in headways, and longer reaction time, while in contrast alcohol was associated with a slight increase in mean speed. Given the limitations of the study, it is of great interest to further explore the qualitative impairments in driving performance associated with cannabis and alcohol separately and how these impairments may manifest in terms of crash characteristics.

Links

  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Monash University Accident Research Centre, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia. Michael.Lenne@muarc.monash.edu.au

    , , , ,

    Source

    Accident; analysis and prevention 42:3 2010 May pg 859-66

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Alcohol Drinking
    Automobile Driving
    Cannabis
    Confidence Intervals
    Double-Blind Method
    Dronabinol
    Female
    Hallucinogens
    Humans
    Male
    Reaction Time
    Task Performance and Analysis
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Comparative Study
    Journal Article
    Randomized Controlled Trial
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    20380913

    Citation

    TY - JOUR T1 - The effects of cannabis and alcohol on simulated arterial driving: Influences of driving experience and task demand. AU - Lenné,Michael G, AU - Dietze,Paul M, AU - Triggs,Thomas J, AU - Walmsley,Susan, AU - Murphy,Brendan, AU - Redman,Jennifer R, PY - 2008/8/14/received PY - 2008/12/23/revised PY - 2009/4/21/accepted PY - 2010/4/13/entrez PY - 2010/4/13/pubmed PY - 2011/1/7/medline SP - 859 EP - 66 JF - Accident; analysis and prevention JO - Accid Anal Prev VL - 42 IS - 3 N2 - This study compared the effects of three doses of cannabis and alcohol (placebo, low and high doses), both alone and in combination, on the driving performance of young, novice drivers and more experienced drivers. Alcohol was administered as ethanol (95%) mixed with orange juice in doses of approximately 0, 0.4 and 0.6g/kg. Cannabis was administered by inhalation of smoke from pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes (supplied by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, USA). Active cigarettes contained 19 mg delta-9-THC. Using a counterbalanced design, the simulated driving performance of 25 experienced and 22 inexperienced drivers was tested under the nine different drug conditions in an arterial driving environment during which workload was varied through the drive characteristics as well as through the inclusion of a secondary task. High levels of cannabis generally induced greater impairment than lower levels, while alcohol at the doses used had few effects and did not produce synergistic effects when combined with cannabis. Both cannabis and alcohol were associated with increases in speed and lateral position variability, high dose cannabis was associated with decreased mean speed, increased mean and variability in headways, and longer reaction time, while in contrast alcohol was associated with a slight increase in mean speed. Given the limitations of the study, it is of great interest to further explore the qualitative impairments in driving performance associated with cannabis and alcohol separately and how these impairments may manifest in terms of crash characteristics. SN - 1879-2057 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20380913/abstract/The_effects_of_cannabis_and_alcohol_on_simulated_arterial_driving:_Influences_of_driving_experience_and_task_demand_ L2 - http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0001-4575(09)00091-8 ER -