Is Drugged Driving a Growing Problem Among Fort Myers Teens?

by Carmen Dellutri on March 13, 2012

Port Charlotte accident lawyerTeenagers in Florida and across the country are increasingly driving under the influence of marijuana. Even more alarming, many don't think it puts them at greater risk for an accident, according to a new survey conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions.

As Fort Myers accident attorneys, we are concerned by the results of the survey. Researchers found that 19 percent of teen drivers said they have driven after smoking pot. Meanwhile, 13 percent of teens surveyed report that they have driven after drinking.

According to SADD, the findings highlight a dangerous misconception among teens—they don’t even consider marijuana use as a distraction to their driving. More than one-third (36 percent) of teens who have driven after using marijuana say the drug presents no distraction to their driving. Similarly, among the teens who reported drinking and driving, 19 percent of them believe alcohol use does not present a problem.

Of course, this is simply not true. “Marijuana affects memory, judgment, and perception and can lead to poor decisions when a teen under the influence of this or other drugs gets behind the wheel of a car,” said Stephen Wallace, senior advisor for policy, research, and education at SADD. “What keeps me up at night is that this data reflects a dangerous trend toward the acceptance of marijuana and other substances compared to our study of teens conducted just two years ago.”

The latest findings are a reversal from prior surveys. In fact, in a 2009 Liberty Mutual Insurance/SADD study, 78 percent of teens were at the other end of the spectrum, characterizing marijuana use as “very” or “extremely” distracting to their driving. However, in the most recent study two years later, the percentage of teens who felt this high level of concern declined to 70 percent.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Fort Myers car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation. 

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