Nearly 60% of youngsters who abuse nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, sometimes do so in the car sometimes. This is according to the Dutch Youth Organisation, TeamAlert.
“We have found that they think a car is a safe place to get high. They also think using laughing gas while driving is extra-exciting,” says Gea-Marit Dekker from TeamAlert.
In 2019, there were at least eight nitrous oxide-related accidents in Brabant. In all these cases, balloons and cartridges were found in the cars involved. The accidents resulted in nine people being injured and one fatality.
Among the young drivers who use this drug in cars, around 60% have done so while driving. These young people often think this laughing gas will not affect their driving style. “They do not think it is dangerous because they overestimate their abilities,” says Dekker.
The police are unable to test whether a driver has used nitrous oxide after an accident. “We are not sure whether using laughing gas while driving leads to more accidents. But this behaviour is risky because of this drug’s influence and the way it works. For example, it is dangerous filling balloons while driving”, a police officer explains.
Source: Omroep Brabant
Editor: Melinda Walraven