AAA: 14.8M drivers got behind wheel hour after marijuana use in last 30 days

CHICAGO -- A new survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals statistics on drivers' perceptions of the dangers of driving high.

Nationally, an estimated 14.8 million drivers report getting behind the wheel within one hour after using marijuana in the past 30 days.

According to the study, the impairing effects of marijuana are usually experienced within the first one to four hours after using the drug, and marijuana users who drive high are up to twice as likely to be involved in a crash.

"Marijuana can significantly alter reaction times and impair a driver's judgement. Yet, many drivers don't consider marijuana-impaired driving as risky as other behaviors like driving drunk or talking on the phone while driving," said Dr. David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. "It is important for everyone to understand that driving after recently using marijuana can put themselves and others at risk."

The survey found over 13% of Americans viewed driving within an hour after using marijuana as only "slightly dangerous" or "not dangerous at all."

Other survey findings show that:
  • Nearly 70% of respondents think a driver is unlikely to be caught by the police when driving within an hour after using marijuana.

  • Millennials (nearly 14%) are most likely to report driving within one hour after using marijuana in the past 30 days, followed by Generation Z (10%).

  • Men (8%) are more likely than women (5%) to report driving shortly after using marijuana in the past 30 days.


  • Programs like Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement and the 50-State Drug Evaluation and Classification Program were developed to train law enforcement officers around the country to more effectively recognize drug-impaired driving.

    There are currently more than 87,000 ARIDE and 8,300 DECP trained officers patrolling U.S. roads.

    The new survey results are part of the AAA Foundation's annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, which identifies attitudes and behaviors related to traffic safety.

    The survey data are from a sample of 2,582 licensed drivers ages 16 and older who reported driving in the past 30 days. To view the latest report visit www.AAAFoundation.org.
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