A recent study by a group affiliated with the American Automobile Association, or AAA, concludes that the general public may not be as sensitive to the dangers of driving while high on marijuana as it is to the dangers of drunk driving or even other forms of drugged driving.
This study’s findings may be significant to the residents of California since recreational marijuana use among adults is legal in this state.
The good news was that most drivers recognized that driving while high on marijuana is a risky activity. These drivers are correct in that other statistics show that a person who drives while under the influence of marijuana faces a much higher likelihood of having a car accident.
On the other hand, a surprising number of those surveyed, 13%, said that they did not find driving within 60 minutes of ingesting marijuana to be any more than slightly dangerous. By contrast, only 1.2% of those surveyed thought drunk driving was not dangerous or just slightly dangerous, and 2.2% said that driving under the influence of prescription drugs was either not dangerous or slightly dangerous.
Moreover, many of those surveyed seemed to think that it is in fact very hard for others, even police, to tell whether someone is high on marijuana to the point of not being able to drive safely. Almost 70% of those asked said that they did not think it likely that a driver who operated within an hour of using the drug would actually get caught.
The authors of the study recommended additional public awareness and also enhanced law enforcement techniques designed to recognize drugged drivers. For those who have unfortunately been hurt in an accident with a drugged driver, compensation may be available through an appropriate legal action.