Under the Influence

The results of the first survey of marijuana users’ driving behavior in the 10 states (and Washington, D.C.) where it has been legalized for recreational use has been released. The survey of 811 drivers who use marijuana revealed that nearly 60 percent admitted to driving under the influence of marijuana. Almost half of them noticed their driving skills were impaired while doing so.

The survey reveals drivers’ habits when it comes to timing, quantity, methods and reasons for marijuana usage, as well as their thoughts on marijuana’s impact on driving safety and law enforcement.
1 in 3 drivers think their state’s marijuana driving laws are effective
1 in 3 drivers think police can accurately assess marijuana impairment

Early research indicates that marijuana can cause driving impairment, but experts agree more study is needed to understand the impacts of marijuana on driving and road safety. In the meantime, The Zebra’s study shows how drivers are currently navigating these choices.

“Today, there are guidelines to help drivers make safe choices when it comes to things like drinking and driving, but marijuana users don’t have comparable resources to understand the risks and make safe driving choices,” says Alyssa Connolly, director of market insights, The Zebra. “Our research shows that drivers have wildly different beliefs about the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana, and their behaviors are wildly different, too. Clearly, more study and education are needed.”

Some examples of opinions drivers shared about driving under the influence of marijuana and how to regulate the behavior: 
“Just because marijuana is now legal, people seem to think that makes it also legal to drive while under the influence of marijuana — and that is scary to think about. People don't realize how much of an impact marijuana can have on a person's driving and reaction time, etc.”
“How can authorities realistically determine how ‘under the influence’ of marijuana someone is? There isn't a breathalyzer …”
“I usually smoke marijuana if I'm waiting in a car, but sometimes while driving. I don't think people should drink and drive however.”
“Anything that affects the inability to concentrate fully when driving is unacceptable including alcohol, texting, talking to someone while driving and marijuana.”

For full survey results, please visit https://www.thezebra.com/research/marijuana-driving-survey/.