Many of California’s DUIs are the result of marijuana use. Additionally, many of California’s DUIs are being committed by teenagers. If teenagers are driving while under the influence of marijuana, which they are undoubtedly, it’s probably because they think that they drive better while high.
According to a recent survey conducted by Boston-based insurance company, Liberty Mutual, 34 percent of surveyed teenagers who had driven while under the influence of marijuana believed that it made them better drivers. The survey also indicated that 41 percent of surveyed teenagers believed that being high had no effect on their driving skills. This means that 75 percent of the teenagers who were surveyed believed that marijuana use did not negatively affect their driving abilities. Of those teenagers whom had driven while drunk, 62 percent said that drinking alcohol negatively affected their driving.
Liberty Mutual and Students Against Destructive Decisions attributed the results to a lack of parental education about safe driving when they released the survey results this last April.
“I don’t understand how they think it improves their driving,” said David Melton, Liberty Mutual’s managing director of global road safety. “Maybe they think that their senses are enhanced as a result of using a mind-altering drug. I just can’t say, I have no idea.”
Well, it may be the paranoia that marijuana induces. Some studies suggests, and as NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law) confirms, that the effect of marijuana causes drivers to drive more cautiously, take less risks, drive slower and avoid difficult driving tasks. This, of course, does not condone getting high and driving. Nor can we say that teenagers were thinking of this when taking the survey.
However, even if marijuana causes people to drive more cautiously, it still may slow down reaction times. Furthermore, slowed driving, under certain circumstances, can also pose a risk to the road.