Scientists have not studied the effects of driving while high on marijuana as extensively as they have studied the effects of driving while intoxicated. However, when it comes to public opinion, a recent survey indicated that adults believe driving while on pot is less dangerous than texting while driving. Most adults also believe that texting while driving — or using a smartphone while driving — is just as dangerous as driving drunk or driving while taking opioids.
In the study, 9 out of 10 people said that driving while high on opioids, driving while drunk and driving while texting were “very dangerous.” Meanwhile, only 7 out of 10 people said that driving while high on pot is “very dangerous.”
Are they right? Is driving high less dangerous than texting?
According to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, PCIAA, driving while high on marijuana is “extremely dangerous.” PCIAA says that driving while high is just as dangerous as using a cellphone, being drunk or taking opioids while driving. PCIAA says that, when the younger generation perceives that driving high is less dangerous, it represents a threat to public safety.
According to surveys, drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 believe that drunk driving is 66 percent more dangerous than their older counterparts between the ages of 35 and 54. However, these numbers flip when the same question is about pot. Older drivers think pot is more dangerous to driving than alcohol when compared to the younger demographic.
Why marijuana driving statistics can be misleading
One of the problems with statistics related to driving while high is the fact that police can face challenges when it comes to determining if drivers are high on pot. This can make it difficult to determine in the field whether driving while high caused a particular accident.
If you suspect that you or a loved one got hurt by someone who was driving while high, you may have a viable claim to pursue personal injury damages in court.