While Americans are concerned with both stoned drivers and those distracted by text messages, a new poll shows an overwhelming majority view texting while driving as more dangerous.
A new poll released by the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCIA) measured American’s attitude toward reckless driving. The survey found while most almost all Americans are concerned with those driving under the influence of marijuana, they view texting while driving as even more dangerous.
PCIA found that 91 percent of Americans believe that driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous. The poll also highlighted that 87 percent feel that stoned driving could be dangerous for others on the road as well. But 99 percent felt that texting while driving was more dangerous than driving after using marijuana. Ninety-eight percent of respondents also felt that using social media while operating a vehicle was worse than driving under the influence of marijuana.
But while many are concerned about what driving after using marijuana can do, only 40 percent feel that it is causing traffic vehicular crashes.
In 2016, 40,000 individuals died in auto crashes. This represents a 6 percent rise from 2015. The National Highway Traffic Safety Commission found a sharp increase in drivers under the influence of marijuana from 2013 to 2014 according to U.S. News.
But so far, there has not been any definitive evidence linking an increase in auto fatalities to legalizing marijuana use.
Robert Gordon, senior vice president of policy development and research for PCIA wants more parents to speak with their children about driving under the influence of drugs. A majority of parents (70 percent) do not discuss the issue with their children.
“Public education and awareness at home and school are an important step to educating teens on the dangers of driving under the influence. There have been extensive efforts to reduce crashes and deaths from driving under the influence of alcohol and distracted driving – we need to add driving under the influence of marijuana to the list of dangers on the road,” Gordon told U.S. News.