With the legalization of marijuana and the rise in casual drug use more and more people are driving recklessly under the influence of drugs. People are under the impression that only alcohol negatively affects the way you drive and they disregard theirs and other people safety by thinking it is ok to drive. Every year hundreds if not thousands of car collisions occur because of reckless driving due to impairment and the numbers are only increasing.
Why is driving under the influence of drugs dangerous?
Many young adults are under the impression that drugs in particular marijuana, do not have the same affects as alcohol and there are fine to take and drive. While many drugs have different affects and not all drugs affect everyone equally to say they are not a danger is ridiculous.
Research studies have shown negative effects of marijuana on drivers, including:
- An increase in lane weaving
- Poor reaction time
- Altered attention to the road
Why is it such a problem in youth?
There are two main problems; one is that young people are more susceptible to being pier pressured and will get in the vehicle not knowing the risks or how in control they are. Two is not that youth and young adults are taking more drugs it is that they just don’t have the driving experience. That coupled with their impairment often leaves them vulnerable to bad driving which can lead to more serious accidents that can leave people in the hospital or worse.
These are very serious problems coupled with the fact that most under age drugged driving and the increased risk of night driving on drivers abilities the chances of accidents goes up exponentially. With lack of vision due to the darkness of the road and the decreased motor skills do to impairment, the chances of an accident are too great to risk.
How dangerous is it?
The exact numbers are impossible to get but a recent national study has shown that 47 percent of fatal crash in the last year had drivers who were under the influence of marijuana or other drugs. Marijuana in particular has become a major problem not because of its health risks to the human body but because of the inebriating affects it has and the choices those who use it choose to make such as driving.
How do we prevent this?
This doesn’t have to be the outcome for you though. There are many easy ways to get home safe and protect those around you such as:
- Public transit
- Designated drivers
This message is becoming more and more necessary to hear and hopefully knowing the risks posed from doing drugs and driving more people and young adults in particular will make the safe choice and find another way home. So the next time you find yourself at a party or somewhere that drugs are being done think before you get in the vehicle you have so many options and only one life so don’t waste it.