Many parents worry about teens driving drunk, but Palm Beach car accident attorney David Glatthorn says they may be worrying about the wrong thing. In a recent survey carried out by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Dangerous Decisions, nearly one in every five teens admitted to driving while under the influence of marijuana. Like alcohol, marijuana impairs a driver's abilities and puts him at a greater risk of a Palm Beach car crash.
More teens are driving high than drunk.
- Percent of teens admitting to driving after drinking: 13%
- Percent of teens admitting to driving after smoking marijuana: 19%
Why do teens drive high?
Law enforcement agencies and agencies like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have put significant resources into educating teens about the dangers of drunk driving. However, many teens aren't aware that smoking marijuana affects their ability to drive. In fact, one-third of the teens who admitted to driving while high believed that marijuana does not cause any impairment. Some even believed that marijuana made them a better driver by helping them to concentrate and slow down.
- Percent of teens who believe it is ok to drive after drinking: 19%
- Percent of teens who believe it is ok to drive after smoking marijuana: 36%
Does driving high really cause West Palm Beach car accidents?
A recent study of 50,000 motorists found that drivers who use marijuana are twice as likely to crash as drivers who are unimpaired. Smoking marijuana has been found to affect concentration, judgment, memory, perception, and reaction times - skills that are necessary when driving. A study in October found that 30 percent of drivers in fatal car crashes tested positive for a drug other than alcohol. Marijuana was at the top of the list.
Is your teen driving high?
If you think marijuana is not a problem for your teen, this fact may make you reconsider: Teen use of marijuana is at its highest level in 30 years. This trend may be due to the influence of stars like Lindsay Lohan, who was jailed in July 2010 after driving while under the influence of marijuana.
What can parents do?
If you are the parent of a teenager, it is important that you speak to your child about the effects of marijuana. Let your child know it is never ok to drive while impaired. Insist that your teen never ride with a driver who has been using alcohol or drugs. Let her know that you are willing to provide a safe ride home at any time.
Injured in a Florida driving accident? Request a free copy of The Florida Accident Workbook: Tools, Tips & Tactics to Resolve Your Injury Claim. The book provides valuable information about protecting your rights. If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, contact Palm Beach car accident attorney David Glatthorn at 888-340-2620.