Marijuana and driving – Don’t mix them

With the society looking for all justifications to show that marijuana is not that bad, some people believe that driving while high on marijuana is not as risky as under alcohol influence. Studies backs these claims explaining further than there is no evidence that proves that when you are high on marijuana you will cause an accident. Even if this evidence is still lacking, don’t you think that being paranoid affects your concentration while driving?

What people should focus more on is not comparing which drug is better experimented on our roads but rather encourage people to avoid being high. This is because, it does not matter what you are high on to take the life of a pedestrian or a passenger. From the National Drug Safety Household Survey, we learn that 2.9% of 14 year olds have at least once driven a vehicle while high on illicit drugs.Rather than comparing which drug is better than the other, we will go into details on how marijuana affects you on the wheel.

How does abusing marijuana affect your driving skills?

Motor control

Being high as you drive exposes you to poor motor control when it comes to your speed because the excitement that comes with the high may make you spin at higher speeds than recommended. You may forget that your vehicle is not a toy track and that people’s lives are at risk and end up losing hand eye coordination.Marijuana symptoms such as light tremors may also affect your steering ability as well as headway control.


Driving while high means that your concentration is divided as you build castles in the air. If you have had some puffs some few hours ago and marijuana withdrawal symptoms start kicking in, you may inaccurately perceive time and distance. Your driving skills therefore become affected when you cannot tell how far you are from hitting with a nearby vehicle.

Visual impairment

Feeling drowsy make effect how you see on the road.You may find it hard to interpret road signs and cause an accident on a zebra crossing.It may seem hard to tell the difference between traffic lights when you are busy dozing off while driving.

Impaired judgment

Making a decision in such a state of mind may make you take a wrong move as it slows your reaction time on a busy highway. This is dangerous not only for you but also other drivers since you might confuse others as you swerve unexpectedly on a different lane.Short term memory may also prevent you from making the right decision on the road.


Settling down in one position when high with your legs on different breaks may make you uncomfortable. You might keep on moving as you try to get more comfortable and use the wrong breaks. When approaching another vehicle too closely, you may apply the brakes too late and end up crashing the rear end of their car.Reduced energy due to marijuana withdrawal also affects how you perform on a road.

Spatial perception

Getting high may make you forget that you are not the only one on the road. This prevents you from staying in one lane as you try to overtake other drivers on the road. If you are not careful, you may jump the carb as you park your car in a public parking lot. Lack of estimating the right position and dimensions of other surrounding cars may cause you problem with others.

What causes these factors?

Research shows that there is a link between the THC chemical found in marijuana and your concentration. As the chemical finds its way into your bloodstream, it affects your driving skills. In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that the chemical contained in Marijuana increased the risk of accidents by 1.25 times. As you drive for long while high, the first moments may seem great but with time, you become bored and distracted thus increasing the risks of causing an accident.

How badly are driving skills affected by marijuana abuse?

Depending on how much you take before driving, your coordination and impaired judgment can be slightly or severely affected. Each individual is different in the way their bodies process THC chemical. In one person, it may stay for five hours while others experience shorter periods before they finally become sober. This timing may affect your ability to drive differently compared to another user.

What does the law say regarding your habit?

Getting high from marijuana is considered illegal in most states but driving under the influence of cannabis is a much serious offence because you are putting the lives of innocent citizens at risk. Mobile roadside drug testing are being implemented to curb marijuana use and driving. Most driving laws state that if your blood is found with more than 5 nanograms of THC during a drug test, you can be charged with a DUI.Some people claim that you can cheat a drug test by using some substance such as supplements but there is no evidence supporting these claims.

If you are dependent on the drug, marijuana detox will prevent you from losing your license on the road as well as keep you safe from heavy fines that may strain you financially. Penalties of up to $ 1000 are put to restrict marijuana abusers on the road since you may injure or even kill someone while impaired. Saliva tests are also done to help law enforcers determine the level of drugs in your system because most users combine marijuana with alcohol. Even if you are using legal marijuana while driving, the law still considers it illegal.

Final thoughts

You may have heard some people claiming that they drive better when high on marijuana. This is not true because of the possible risks involved. The first few minutes may be interesting but afterwards you may start experiencing difficulties in coordination.Even though most people cause accidents from drunk driving, marijuana effects on our roads should also be taken more seriously to prevent accidents caused by abusers.Be the designated driver that has full control of the steering in a sober state of mind to get home safe without endangering anyone’s life.

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