Thursday, 21 Oct 2021

AAA study: Drivers who use both marijuana and alcohol are the riskiest on the road

The marijuana holiday 4/20 has come and gone, but the fact remains that people who use alcohol and pot are the riskiest drivers, even if the drivers consume the two separately.

Motorists who consume both cannabis and alcohol are more likely to speed, text, run red lights and drive more aggressively, according to new research conducted by the American Automobile Association.

Colorado was one of the earlier states to legalize both the medical and recreational use of marijuana.

Weed sales alone in 2020 reached $2.2 billion, spiking in December. This amount brings the sum of total cannabis sales to almost $10 billion since recreational marijuana was legalized.

Skyler McKinley, regional director of public affairs for AAA, said in a news release that Colorado residents have been mindful of marijuana use and driving.

“Still, some drivers mistakenly believe that high driving is safe driving, even though the research is clear that cannabis can inhibit concentration, slow reaction times and cloud judgment,” McKinley said in the release. “The consequences can be even worse for cannabis users who also drink alcohol.”

AAA’s research found that motorists using both marijuana and alcohol are “significantly” more likely to drive drunk in comparison to drivers who only consume alcohol.

Here is a list of cannabis and alcohol users’ behavior compared to those who only consumed alcohol:

  • Speeding on residential streets (55%) vs. alcohol-only (35%)
  • Aggressive driving (52%) vs. alcohol-only (28%)
  • Intentional red-light running (48%) vs alcohol-only (32%)
  • Texting while driving (40%) vs. alcohol-only (21%)

“Fundamentally, choosing to use alcohol or cannabis is just that — a personal choice. While there are safe ways to use both drugs, there is no safe way to drive under the influence of either,” McKinley said in the release. “Never, never, never drive impaired.”

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