Impaired Driving: Teens, Marijuana and Driving
REACHING OUT TO PARENTS
DID YOU KNOW...
In Ventura County:
- 1 in 8 high school seniors reported that within the past two weeks, they had driven after using marijuana.
- 1 in 4 had recently ridden in a car with such a driver.
WHAT IS DRUG-IMPAIRED DRIVING?
- The use of any drug can make it unsafe to drive a car. Drugs can impair motor skills, perception, judgment and memory. Even small amounts of some drugs may have an impact on the ability to drive.
- Impaired driving involves all substances, not just alcohol. Youth may use alcohol, prescription medications, marijuana and a combination of these. The important thing is making sure that your teen doesn’t drive while impaired.
The #1 threat to a teen’s safety is driving or riding in a car with a teen driver.
MARIJUANA IMPAIRS DRIVING ABILITY
- Impairs motor skills, alters perception of speed and slows reaction time.
- Risk of an accident doubles when a person drives soon after using marijuana.
- After alcohol, marijuana is the most frequently found substance in the blood of impaired drivers, fatally injured drivers and crash victims.
TALK ABOUT IT
- Learn the facts about how marijuana impacts the teen brain. Watch for signs.
- Write a family contract with your teen, emphasizing an agreement to not drive impaired.
- Encourage your teen to talk about marijuana with you and review the risks. Problem solve how to avoid peer pressure to use drugs.
- Discuss how to deal with situations that are risky and potentially dangerous. Talk about not driving with a friend who may have used marijuana or alcohol. Come up with an emergency plan together.
- Talk about impaired driving, and the responsibility and expectations around safe driving.
- Model appropriate behaviors for your child, including not driving impaired.
- Teach your child that prescription drugs, alcohol, marijuana and illicit drugs all impact driving.
- Practice role playing about a social situation that they may find themselves in.
> Among High School Seniors, Driving After Marijuana Use Surpasses Drunk Driving, NIDA, January 3, 2017
> Read about our Call to Action Drug-impaired Driving Campaign
> See DrugFacts: Drugged Driving
> Marijuana & Your Kid’s Brain Video
> Read about Marijuana and the Teen Brain