A new AAA study said a lot of Americans don't think they'll get caught for driving high.
Despite concerted efforts to curb impaired driving, an alarming amount of North American drivers still get behind the wheel under the influence of cannabis every day. And, as the new AAA survey suggests, one of the reasons that people continue to drive high is because they don't think they'll get caught.
According to AAA's most recent Traffic Safety Culture Index, 70 percent of Americans think that getting pulled over for driving under the influence of cannabis is "unlikely." And while that attitude is reckless and unwise, those motorists do have reasons to believe that they won't get caught. Right now, law enforcers in jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis haven't figured out how to enforce traffic laws concerning cannabis just yet. While experts are still trying to determine how much cannabis is too much to drive on, police are struggling to find roadside equipment that can accurately tell if drivers have consumed too much cannabis.
Beyond the matter of legal repercussions, some people just don't think driving under the influence of cannabis is dangerous. While less than two percent of people think it's okay to drink and drive, more than seven percent think driving under the influence of cannabis is fine. That number might seem small, but it's very concerning for AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Executive Director Dr. David Yang.
"Marijuana can significantly alter reaction times and impair a drivers 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 Yang. "It is important for everyone to understand that driving after recently using marijuana can put themselves and others at risk."
So while law enforcers continue working out the best way to screen driving under the influence of cannabis, policy makers need to figure out ways to educate motorists about the dangers of high driving.
h/t: The Fresh Toast