AUSTIN, Texas—As states and jurisdictions around the country continue to modify their marijuana laws, DriversEd.com, the leading online driving school, released its 2019 Cannabis and Cars Report. The study examines Americans’ experiences, concerns and perspectives on behind-the-wheel marijuana use.
Survey data found that 58% of Americans believe that legalized recreational marijuana use would lead to increased danger on roads, and 91% of Americans believe marijuana can impair a driver’s driving ability. Meanwhile, 21% of U.S. drivers admit to having driven while high from marijuana.
“Driving while under the influence of marijuana is dangerous and deadly, as well as illegal—even in states where medicinal and recreational cannabis use is legalized,” said Laura Adams, safety and education analyst at DriversEd.com. “Like alcohol, marijuana impairs a driver’s judgment, motor coordination and reaction time. Risks are amplified even more when marijuana and alcohol are mixed together.”
Among the study’s additional findings:
•82% of Americans say that if a driver arrived to pick them up and they knew for a fact that the driver was high from marijuana, they would not get in the car.
•20% of drivers admit to driving after smoking marijuana, and 6% admit to driving after ingesting it.
•11% of Americans have been in a passenger in an Uber, Lyft or other rideshare service and suspected the driver was high from marijuana.
“What many people don’t realize is that the issue of drugged driving goes well beyond alcohol and marijuana. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs, many of which have side effects including sleepiness, blurred vision, dizziness and excitability, are often forgotten in this conversation,” said Adams.
This report is a follow-up to DriversEd.com’s 2019 Distracted Driving and Social Media Report, released in March, which found that 55% of drivers admit to checking social media while driving.