Roadside Chat - The corn is high, drivers shouldn't be

9-15 corn is highDriving is a complex task that requires your full attention to stay safe and alert. While some contend that smoking pot and then getting behind the wheel is safe, research would suggest otherwise.

Just about everyone agrees that more research is needed, but the Centers for Disease Control website notes that marijuana affects areas of the brain that control your body’s movements, balance, coordination, memory, and judgment. Marijuana use can impair important skills required for safe driving by:

  • slowing your reaction time and ability to make decisions
  • impairing coordination
  • distorting perception

Determining the impact of marijuana use on drivers is difficult because the compound that causes impairment can be detected in a person’s system long after the “high” wears off.  States with legalized recreational marijuana use continue to research and update laws and testing methods. That’s why marijuana users need to understand the dangers behind the wheel.

There’s no doubt cannabis consumption affects the body and the brain. But what do these effects look like, exactly? Discover more about how and why cannabis affects your ability to drive safely.

So far this year in Iowa, 268 people have been killed in traffic crashes. That’s an increase of seven since last Friday. In Iowa in 2022, there were 338 traffic-related deaths. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

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