ROANOKE, Va. – How do cannabis users drive? This is the question Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is looking to answer, and you may be able to help.
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute started looking at the effects marijuana has on driving six years ago in Colorado. Now, with Virginia recently legalizing the use of marijuana, researchers like Kaitlyn Fitzgerald are bringing the study to Southwest Virginia.
“So what we are looking at are features on vehicles that will help us understand how people interact naturally with things like lane-keeping assist or adaptive cruise control. so pioneer is a small cohort of that study which is going to look at how cannabis affects driving,” said Fitzgerald.
The study is looking for participants in the New River and Roanoke Valley areas. Researchers are looking for people who use marijuana, drive a 2018 or newer vehicle and are willing to submit data through a confidential app.
“Trying to better understand if cannabis affects driving, examining people in a natural state and then hoping to do follow-up studies moving on from that,” said Fitzgerald.
Although the study is asking for marijuana users, it doesn’t mean participants are supposed to get behind the wheel while under the influence.
“We’re not asking people to change anything about their driving behavior or substance abuse. we are just looking at how cannabis users drive naturally,” said Fitzgerald.
The data collected from participants could make a difference.
“We as a transportation institute use a lot of our studies to help develop better policy, safer policy around driving, while also helping manufacturers potentially in future technology as well,” she added.
To learn more or apply for the pioneer study, click here.