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Canadians worry about drug-impaired driving

86% of Canadians are worried about drug-impaired driving. In fact, 75% are concerned with progress in crucial areas like legislation, testing and awareness.

A life-threatening issue

In a new report from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), the percentage of fatally injured drivers who tested positive for marijuana rose to 20.9% in 2015 from 15.9% in 2000.

Do you think there will be an increase in impaired driving when marijuana becomes legal?*

Yes: 71%
No: 29%

Age plays a role

According to the TIRF, the 2 biggest age brackets for fatally injured drivers who tested positive for marijuana in 2015 were 16- to 19-year-old drivers (32.1%) and 20- to 34-year-old drivers (35.9%). Also, the percentage of 35- to 49-year-old drivers who tested positive is substantial at 16.9% and 14.9% among 50- to 64-year-olds.

What age do you most associate with driving under the influence of marijuana?*

16–34: 90%
35–54: 9%
55+: 1%

Drug-impaired driving and enforcement

According to Statistics Canada's National Cannabis Survey, 14.3% of marijuana users with a valid driver's licence are getting behind the wheel within 2 hours of consuming marijuana, which is especially alarming.

Do you think police have the tools and resources to identify marijuana-impaired drivers?*

No: 81%
Yes: 19%

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs

Marijuana isn't the only drug-impaired driving Canadians are worried about. Three in four respondents are also concerned about those driving under the influence of prescription drugs:

  • 16.6% of Canadians say they’ve driven under the influence of an over-the-counter drug (for example, medication that can cause drowsiness).
  • 20% of Canadian drivers say they’ve driven at least once under the influence of a prescription drug. 

Partners with a common goal

The Personal works closely with national partners, like the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, to better inform Canadians about the risks of the road. The Personal is proud to share two additional resources that will help combat drug-impaired driving: 

Drug-Impaired Driving Learning Centre is a web-based resource that was designed to share the latest research about the problem, increase awareness, and inform the development of effective strategies to tackle drug-impaired driving.

A new Traffic Injury Research Foundation report on Marijuana Use Among Drivers in Canada examines the role of marijuana in collisions involving fatally injured drivers between 2000 and 2015.

Canadians worry about drug-impaired driving

With the legalization of marijuana, many people are raising concerns about drug-impaired driving. And these concerns are supported by a recent survey.

* The online survey, conducted in March of 2018, polled 3,020 respondents of driving age across Canada.

The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories. The information and advice in this article are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information or advice. The Personal recommends using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, expert advice.