VCkidsFYI: Teens' risk of crashing is doubled after using marijuana. Talk about it.
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.Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among young people aged 16 to 19. Teen drivers are more likely than older drivers to underestimate or not recognize dangerous situations. After alcohol, marijuana is the drug most often linked to drug-impaired driving. And the reality is, teens get in twice as many crashes after using marijuana.
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.
Talk About It
- Know the signs and symptoms of marijuana use. See Marijuana & the Teen Brain.
- Don’t just talk about safe driving; set your family’s own driving rules and get your teen to agree to them in writing through a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement. See more parent resources about teen safe driving at Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers.
- Need tips on how to talk with your child about marijuana? Check out the Marijuana Talk Kit.
If you're concerned about signs of drug use with your child, call (805) 981-9200 to talk with a professional at Ventura County Behavioral Health, Alcohol & Drug Programs, Youth Services. Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00.