It looks like Americans consider texting while driving to be more dangerous than using marijuana while driving. In a recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll, in conjunction with the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, most Americans feel that driving under the influence of marijuana is bad. However, more people feel that texting and driving is more dangerous.
The Harris Poll asked participants some questions and 91 percent of Americans believe that driving while under the influence of marijuana is dangerous. Participants think 87 percent of those people who do drive under the influence of marijuana pose a danger to others on the road. This is where the shocking part comes into play. Just 40 percent of participants believe that driving while high contributes to more motor vehicle accidents.
However, participants felt distracted driving was more dangerous than anything else. In the survey, 99 percent felt using social media and 98 percent felt texting while driving is dangerous. That is compared to the 91 percent that felt driving while under the influence of marijuana was dangerous.
Statistics don’t exactly run in line with the results of this Harris Poll. According to the National Safety Council, we had as many as 40,000 people die from motor vehicle accidents in 2016. That was a six percent increase from 2015. The National Traffic Safety Administration conducted a survey from 2013 to 2014 and found a drastic increase in the number of drivers under the influence of marijuana.
The Highway Loss Data Institute also looked into data regarding the number of vehicle collisions and in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. There are 29 states and Washington, D.C. that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana in some form. This can be for medical or recreational use. Of those states and D.C., it is legal for recreational purposes in seven states and D.C. Three of those states (Colorado, Washington, and Oregon) have seen an increase in the number of vehicle collisions. However, there is no direct connection between the two.
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