A new study conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), reveals that a third of teens think it is legal to drive under the influence of marijuana in states where it has been legalized for recreational use.
It’s not just teens; 27% of parents believe it to be legal too, according to the study. Additionally, 93% percent of parents think driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, but fewer (76%) think driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous.
“Driving under the influence of marijuana significantly impairs motor coordination, judgment and reaction time,” said Mike Sample, MS, CSP, Lead Driving Safety Expert and Technical Consultant at Liberty Mutual. “Parents and teens alike must appreciate the importance of not driving under the influence of marijuana to help keep everyone safe on the road.”
The study also reveals that while the majority of parents say they are talking to teens about the dangers of DUI and marijuana use (78%), only 53% of teens recall having had these conversations with their parents.
“Parents are the most important role models for teens and have an opportunity to hold more conversations with them about the dangers of driving under the influence, whether it’s driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs that can impair driving,” said Dr. Gene Beresin, Senior Advisor on Adolescent Psychiatry with SADD and Executive Director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Starting a dialogue early and engaging teens about the dangers of driving high before they have their license can be an effective way to reinforce the message prior to getting behind the wheel.”