One in Five Teens Drives High

By Bryan Le 02/23/12

Teenagers drive stoned more often than they drive drunk; the idea that it's safe is a myth.


Driving high can impair coordination and
slow reaction times.
Photo via

One in five teens admits to driving after smoking marijuana, a new study shows.The fact that teens drive stoned more often than they drive drunk—the rates are 19% and around 13% respectively—suggests that parents and educators don't spend enough time emphasizing the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana, as opposed to alcohol. Admittedly, studies have shown alcohol to be even more detrimental to driving abilities than pot. However, driving high still carries a great deal of risk. Marijuana can affect coordination, visual tracking and reaction time and drivers at higher doses have a hard time staying in lanes, reacting to surprise obstacles and working out how fast they're going. The worrying new research, from Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), does at least suggest a possible solution to the problem of teen stoners on wheels: peer pressure—90% of the teens surveyed said they would stop driving high if a friend asked them to.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter