Driving under the influence of cannabis is a growing concern on Alabama’s roadways. It's crucial to remember that driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal in all 50 states and can result in severe consequences including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Most importantly, driving while high puts yourself and others at risk of injury or death. Here are some ways that cannabis use impacts driving:
- Slower Reaction Time–It may take a driver longer than usual to register danger and take action to avoid it.
- Distorted Perception of Time & Distance–Time may seem to move much slower or faster than normal, and you may find it difficult to judge the distance or speed of another car.
- Decision-Making Skills–THC in cannabis hurts a driver’s ability to multitask, a critical skill needed behind the wheel.
- Lack of Coordination–Cannabis can prevent you from effectively anticipating any potential hazards and operating vehicle controls with your hands and feet.
MORE FACTS TO KNOW
- It’s reported that 22% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 had used within the last 30 days. source >
- Looking at weekends over a six-year period, NHTSA researchers found a 48% increase in people driving after using drugs. source >
- Cannabis is the most used drug that is illegal at the federal level in the United States, with an estimated 48.2 million people using it at least once in. source >
- After alcohol, cannabis is the substance most often associated with impaired driving. source >
- 1 in 8 high school drivers reported driving after using cannabis at least once during the past month. source >
What you can do!
Plan ahead for a sober driver if you plan to use an impairing drug. Choose someone who has not been drinking alcohol and/or using drugs, use a rideshare service, or call a taxi.
Don’t let friends get behind the wheel if they’re under the influence of drugs.
If you’re hosting a party where alcohol or other substances will be used, it’s your job to make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
Always wear your seat belt—it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.