As states and jurisdictions around the country continue to modify their marijuana laws, DriversEd.com, a leading online driving school, on Tuesday released its 2019 Cannabis and Cars Report, which examines Americans’ experiences, concerns and perspectives on behind-the-wheel marijuana use.
Survey data found that 58 percent of Americans believe that legalized recreational marijuana use would lead to increased danger on roads, and 91 percent of Americans believe marijuana can impair a driver’s driving ability. Meanwhile, 21 percent 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 percent of Americans say that if a driver arrived to pick them up and they knew for a fact the driver was high from marijuana, they would not get in the car.
20 percent of drivers admit to driving after smoking marijuana, and 6 percent admit to driving after ingesting it.
11 percent of Americans have been 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 percent of drivers admit to checking social media while driving.
The full Cannabis and Cars report—which includes additional data, insights and analysis—is available at https://driversed.com
The 2019 Cars and Cannabis survey was conducted online using Survey Monkey, with 1,063 participants polled from across the United States, with the U.S. driving population represented by the 997 respondents who, before completing the survey, answered that they have a driver’s license. The demographics of those polled represented a broad range of household income, geographic location, age, and gender. DriversEd.com, an online driving school, offers courses directly, through partners and through some of the largest schools in the country.