Pot-impaired driving has motorists worried over the holidays

Cannabis has been legalized for over two months in Canada, and according to CAA, Canadians are worried there will be more high drivers on the roads.

A new poll by CAA shows 73 per cent of people believe an increase in cannabis-impaired driving will be seen over the holiday season.

CAA said those people may have good reason to worry, as a third of the young people polled said they were willing to drive after consuming cannabis.

“We know young Canadians are those most likely to think they can drive as well or better when they’re high as when they’re sober,” said Jeff Walker, CAA chief strategy officer.

“Scientific studies show that’s not true, but findings like these demonstrate there is a need for more education.”

As for people who have already driven after smoking cannabis, or were a passenger of someone who consumed cannabis, thirty per cent of people polled admitted to the offense.

CAA said the number of people polled who said they would plan an alternative ride home were better, but not reassuring.

While 92 per cent of Canadians said they would use a taxi or designated driver after drinking alcohol, only 77 per cent said they would do the same for cannabis.

CAA said they believe public education is key in keeping people safe on the roads post-legalization.

The 2018 McGill University study was funded by CAA and revealed the driving performance of young Canadians declined significantly, in key areas such as reaction time, even five hours after inhaling the equivalent of less than one typical joint. Findings are based on a CAA poll of 2,006 Canadians carried out in December 2018. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.2%, 19 times out of 20.

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