Youth Driving High is A Big Problem

April 11, 2017, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

A new study that appeared in the Paediatrics & Child Health Journal,  of young drivers in British Columbia has found disturbingly high rates of drug impaired driving. The study was based on a sample survey of over 650 youth and spanned a decade. It involved youth aged 12-18 when the study began.

The results were not good. Fully 75% of the youth who self identified as frequent users reported that they had either been in the car as a passenger or had driven a vehicle after using pot or other drugs.

Males and females both engaged in other high risk activities while high. 64% of males and 33% of females who were frequent users indicated they had been high on drugs more than once while driving cars, motorcycles, in boats or operating other machinery. The drug use was often combined with alcohol consumption as well.

The study had equally disturbing results for those who identified as ‘occasional users’ or abstainers. 28% of them reported having been in a car in the last month driving high or being a passenger with a driver who was high.  The study made some significant finds including that 52% of females were abstainers, and 37% of males were. 42% of males and 36% of females were occasional users and 21% of males were frequent users.

The researchers concluded that there has been a failure of “current programs” and that there is a demonstrated need to provide better intervention and prevention strategies to youth, to help the understand and avoid the dangers of driving alcohol or drug impaired, and of riding in a vehicle with an impaired driver.

As we are on the cusp of legalization of marijuana these statistics are even more disturbing. The question of what will a legal THC limit be for drug use should be reconsidered. Many countries have a 0% limit for alcohol. It may be a good point to start with marijuana. As we’ve seen with cell phone use, it is easier to start with stricter limits and move them, than to begin with loose limits and then try and change behavior.



Posted under Brain Injury, Car Accidents, Drunk Driving Accidents

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