Impaired is impaired
The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), defines the terms “drugged driving”, and “drug-impaired driving” as driving a motor vehicle while impaired by any type of drug or medication or combination of drugs, medications, and alcohol. These include cannabis, illegal substances, mind-altering prescription medications, and over-the-counter remedies and medications that affect an individual’s ability to drive safely.1
Young drivers are already at higher risk of road accidents, as new drivers often lack experience behind the wheel.
Your teen may be old enough to drive a vehicle or operate farm machinery, lawnmowers, boats, dirt bikes or other moving vehicles. Cannabis in any form, including edibles, can seriously impair the ability to operate machinery or vehicles of any kind.
Studies show that driving high nearly doubles the risk of an accident, and a study commissioned by DFK Canada that over one third (37%) of teens feel that driving high (after marijuana use) is not as risky as drunk driving, while one in four high school seniors say they have ridden in a car with a high driver. Source: DFK Attitudinal Tracking Survey 2017
According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, there are common misperceptions regarding drugs and driving among youth:
- Impaired driving is not a serious problem;
- Cannabis-impaired driving is safer than alcohol-impaired driving;
- Some drug use does not adversely affect driving ability;
- Some drug use improves driving ability due to compensation strategies; and
- The likelihood of being pulled over for impaired driving is low.
Our campaign, “The Call That Comes After,” aims to drive home the dangers of high driving and being a passenger in a car with a driver who has used marijuana to parents and teens. We urge parents to try it out and use it to begin an important conversation with their kids about the dangers of driving high.
Weed out the Risk
The fact that cannabis is now legal has raised some concerns about road safety, especially among young drivers who, for the most part, do not understand that driving under the influence of cannabis can be extremely dangerous.
Weed out the Risk is an educational program that aims to inform both young drivers of the risks associated with driving under the influence of cannabis.
The Bottom Line
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of the two is very dangerous. The use of any psychoactive (mind-altering) drug makes it highly unsafe to drive a car and is illegal—just like driving after drinking alcohol. Driving under the influence of drugs endangers not only the driver's life but also the lives of passengers and other road users.
Drugs and Driving - Some Facts
Driving while high kills
A significant proportion of fatally injured drivers tested positive for drug use and levels were close to those of alcohol across Canada.
Drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 years old account for most driver fatality cases. They also happen to be the group that contains the largest proportion of drinking driver fatalities ( 27.6%) and drug positive related fatalities (26.9%) 7
Teenage Drug Usage
What can you do?