AAA: More Americans driving while high, underestimating dangers of marijuana impairment

A new survey from AAA shows more and more people have admitted to driving after using marijuana. That's especially concerning in California, where recreational use is legal.

An estimated 14.8 million people reported driving within one hour after using marijuana in the last 30 days, according to research from AAA.

"The impairing effects of marijuana are usually experienced within the first one to four hours after using the drug. And marijuana users who drive high are up to twice as likely to be involved in a crash," AAA wrote in a press release.

Nearly 70 percent of Americans reported they think it's unlikely a driver will get caught by police while high on marijuana.

But the survey found more Americans approved of driving after using marijuana than driving after ingesting alcohol, prescription drugs or driving drowsy.

Since marijuana was legalized in California in 2018, authorities have seen a growing number of drivers who have been under the influence of marijuana.

Pot has the potential to impair a person's ability to safely operate a vehicle safely, decreasing car handling, performance and attention, AAA says.

Millennials were found to be most likely to report driving within one hour after using marijuana in the past 30 days, followed by Generation Z. Men were found more likely than women to admit to driving shortly after using marijuana in the past month.

AAA reports 70 percent of drivers polled said it was unlikely that they'll be caught driving while high.

"Any driver who gets behind the wheel high can be arrested and prosecuted," said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety and advocacy. "Law enforcement officials are getting more sophisticated in their methods for identifying marijuana-impaired drivers and the consequences are not worth the risk."
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