When parents have a child who gets his or her driver’s license, they no doubt go over several scenarios with them. Don’t text and drive. Never drink and get behind the wheel of a car, or ride with someone else who has been drinking. By the time they go off to college, parents hope they have covered everything and that their students will use good judgment when it comes to driving. Unfortunately, a new study shows a disturbing scenario that parents may want to discuss with their college-age kids.
Researchers surveyed college students via a telephone survey and found surprising results when it came to using marijuana and driving. Of the 315 first-year college students, 44 percent of the male respondents had gotten behind the wheel of a car in the previous month after using marijuana. This statistic was surprisingly much higher than the 12 percent of males who drove after drinking alcohol in that period of time. And 51 percent of them admitted to riding with a driver who had used marijuana before driving.
Female students were a little safer, with only 9 percent of them using marijuana before driving, and 3 percent of them drinking. Still, 35 percent of them chose to get in a vehicle with a driver who had been using marijuana before getting behind the wheel.
Apparently students got the message that it’s not safe to drink and drive, but some never put it together that driving while under the influence of a drug such as marijuana is just as dangerous. Parents will want to have a conversation about this with the young adults in their house to prevent an incident as a result of being under the influence while driving. If an accident were to occur, not only would insurance rates go up for that driver, but more importantly, there would be a chance of injury or worse.
Parents, keep talking to your college-age kids about safe driving practices, and this time, include the use of marijuana — or lack thereof — in your conversations.
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