Public Safety

  • Marijuana use adversely affects concentration, coordination, and perception, all important skills to safe driving.
  • In 2009, the drugs most commonly reported among fatally injured drivers in the U.S. were narcotics (21%) and marijuana (25%) and when combined, accounted for nearly half (46%) of all positive results.
  • Among fatally injured drivers aged 15-24 in the U.S. who tested positive for drugs, 43% were positive for marijuana.
  • According to a 2009 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more people driving on weekend nights were under the influence of marijuana (8.3%) than alcohol (2.2%).
  • A study of 182 truck accidents causing death found 12.8% of the drivers were under the influence of marijuana and 12.5% under the influence of alcohol.
  • A study revealed 28,000 high school seniors admitted to at least one accident after using marijuana.
  • One recent study released by the British Medical Journal, confirmed that driving high on marijuana doubles the risk of a car crash. The link between crashes and cannabis use was examined by looking at data from more than 49,000 vehicular accidents, excluding those involving alcohol.According to a recent study by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), one in five (19%) teen drivers surveyed admitted to driving under the influence of marijuana compared to 12% who admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • Marijuana use affects coordination, decision-making and perception, which directly results in impaired driving. Marijuana is the most prevalent illegal drug detected in impaired drivers, fatally injured drivers, and motor vehicle crash victims. Conducted by scientists from Columbia University‚Äôs College of Physicians and Department of Public Health, a recent analysis of nine epidemiological studies concluded that drivers who test positive for marijuana are more than twice as likely as other drivers to be involved in a crash.

What Other States Have Experienced…

The results of a survey conducted in 2012 by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) showed more drivers tested positive for drugs that can impair driving (14%) than did for alcohol (7.3%). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent at 7.4%, slightly

The first five years after establishing a “medical” marijuana program, California saw an increase of almost 100% in fatal crashes where the at-fault driver tested positive for marijuana.

In Colorado, more than 10% of vehicle fatalities involved a driver that tested positive for marijuana. Over 130 people were killed in the last 3 years in Colorado when the driver tested positive for marijuana.

Here are some places you can obtain local statistics on marijuana and drugged driving…

    • Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
    • AAA offices – www.AA.org
    • Department of Transportation – transportation.gov
    • CNAforum.com – Accounts from CNA:s, LPN:s and nurses
    • ¬†National Highway Traffic Safety Administration