One quarter of young Canadian drivers admit that they have driven while high from cannabis or have travelled in a vehicle with a stoned driver.
That’s according to results released Friday by the Canadian Automobile Association, which polled 1,517 Canadians aged 18 to 34 in an online survey about their driving habits from Nov. 27 to Dec. 4.
Eighty-six per cent of respondents said they understand the importance of planning alternative travel arrangements after consuming alcohol – like a ridesharing service, taxi or designated driver. Meanwhile, only 70 per cent said that it’s important to plan for a safe ride home after consuming cannabis.
“The study’s findings regarding attitudes and perceptions tells us there is a need for more education,” said Jeff Walker, the association’s chief strategy officer, in a statement.
The association said that while some young Canadians are more likely to think their driving is unaffected by cannabis, scientific studies show that’s not true.
“Cannabis may impair your driving differently than alcohol, but the effect is the same – decreased reaction times that can lead to collisions and even fatalities,” Walker said.
Cannabis has been legal in Canada for more than a year. In April, roughly six months post-legalization, police forces across the country reported a little-to-no change in the number of impaired driving charges laid.