By Cheryl Jensen
A third of teens in a new survey think it’s legal to drive under the influence of marijuana in states where recreational use by adults is legal. What could go wrong?
Although it’s a small study, it poses a big concern that misperceptions among teens about the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana could put their lives and the lives of everyone else on the road in jeopardy. And it isn’t just teens who were wrong about this; 27% of parents surveyed think so, too.
The study, which surveyed 2,800 teens from high schools across the country and 1,000 parents of licensed teenage drivers, was commissioned by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions).
“It was eye-opening,” said Mike Sample, lead driving safety expert & technical consultant at Liberty Mutual. “I think we spend so much time in our culture discussing the negative impacts of alcohol use that the teens aren’t hearing enough of the messaging from their parents about the perils of any type of impaired driving.”
The study does show sharp differences on the part of both teens and parents between their attitudes on driving under the influence of marijuana and driving under the influence of alcohol.
They just don’t seem to take the significant negative effects that marijuana can have on motor coordination, judgment and reaction time as seriously as they do with alcohol.
73% of teens said driving under the influence of marijuana makes someone a worse driver, yet 88% recognized