Know the factsDriving after smoking weed is more prevalent among some young drivers than drinking alcohol:
- Survey data from a 2013 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) report showed that, among young drivers in grades 10 to 12, 4% drove after drinking while 9.7% drove after smoking
- Approximately 16% of students surveyed by CAMH reported riding in a vehicle driven by someone who had been using drugs.
Many young people, and some parents, think driving under the influence of drugs is safer than driving under the influence of alcohol. Research shows otherwise:
- Studies have shown that driving after using drugs can cause unwelcome effects behind the wheel including a shorter attention span, an altered perception of time and distances, and slow reaction times that impair the driver’s ability to respond to sudden events in traffic.
- Smoking three hours before driving nearly doubled a driver’s risk of having a motor vehicle crash, according to research at Dalhousie University in 2012.
- Despite these findings, nearly 32% of teens and nearly 25% of their parents did not consider driving under the influence of cannabis to be as bad as alcohol according to a national study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free Canada.
Share with your kidsTalk to your teens. You can influence their behaviour:
- Make sure the whole family knows the laws for young drivers, including 0.00% BAC restrictions – and that they’re also in danger if they drive after using drugs, or riding with someone who has. Know the laws for young drivers.
- Share the facts about drugged driving – it’s dangerous and illegal and could destroy lives, including their own.
- Stay in the loop by monitoring your teen’s behaviour, talking to their friends and other parents.
- If you or anyone in your family is hosting a party, stock up on food and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Make sure your teens know the laws and rules against underage drinking and against drug use. But also help them be prepared and plan ahead by having money for a taxi, choosing a designated driver or arranging to stay the night with friends.
- Let them know that, no matter what, they can call you for a safe ride home.
What to do before the party’s overPlan ahead for a safe drive home.
You already know the best way to drive safely: don’t use drugs or alcohol. But if you do, have a plan so that you don’t feel you have to drive, or get a ride home from someone who’s drunk or high:
- Choose a designated driver who didn’t use any drugs or consume any alcohol. Not even a little.
- Plan to stay over at your friend’s house. Sleeping on the floor won’t kill you, but driving high or drunk could.
- Talk to your parents. Tell them that if you’re impaired, you’re calling home for a ride.
- Carry cash and the number of a taxi company.
- If the party is at your place, don’t let any of your friends drive home impaired. Invite them to stay the night. Or call their parents. They’re better off alive and at home than they are dead or in jail.
- Sign the Promise to Drive Drug and Alcohol-Free – because we really, really want you to be safe on the roads, and keep other people safe too.