The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted its annual nationwide survey known as the Traffic Safety Culture Index, and one of the subjects that it touched upon was driving while high on marijuana. Of the 2,582 licensed drivers aged 16 and older who reported having been behind the wheel in the previous 30 days, 7% approved driving after recently using marijuana. Residents of Missouri should know, however, that this is a dangerous thing to do.
By contrast, only 3% approved of driving while impaired by prescription drugs, and less than 2% approved of drunk driving. Yet as AAA states, driving under the influence of marijuana can be just as bad as these because the drug impairs drivers’ judgment and slows their reaction times.
The higher approval rate is largely due to the fact that marijuana is legal and therefore not perceived as liable to get someone in trouble. In the survey, nearly 70% of respondents thought it unlikely that drivers should be pulled over for being high on marijuana. Currently, 11 states and Washington, D.C., allow recreational marijuana. AAA’s report states that more than 14 million Americans have driven within an hour of using marijuana at least once in the past 30 days.
All drivers have a duty to keep themselves and others on the road safe, and substance abuse clearly prevents them from upholding this duty: in other words, makes them negligent. Those who are the victims of another’s negligence can pursue a personal injury claim, but they may want to have the help of an attorney when they are seeking compensation for their losses.