There has been a rise in Colorado car accident fatalities involving marijuana since the state first legalized pot. Now, Colorado Department of Transportation officials are surveying residents to see how they feel about driving under the influence of pot and the risks they all face on Colorado roads. The Cannabis Conversation is the name of the campaign and it was just launched in 2018. Meetings have already been held in Denver, and more are scheduled for Fort Collins and Pueblo.
Just how bad have Colorado roads become? In 2016, the number of marijuana-related car accident fatalities topped 77, the highest in recent years. In addition, 51 of those drivers tested above the threshold for marijuana impairment according to Colorado law. In 2013 just 10% of all Colorado accident fatalities involved marijuana, but in 2016 that number had jumped to 20%. When CDOT surveyed marijuana users last year, over half said they have gotten behind the wheel of a car within 2 hours of using the drug.
Driving high is dangerous. Numerous reports have found that driving under the influence of marijuana increases your chances of getting into a car accident by 300%. Using marijuana slows your reaction time and interferes with your decision making abilities. It worsens your hand-eye coordination tremendously and simulations have shown that stoned drivers are worse at steering and finding their place in the lane. They are even worse at managing their speed.
The overall message is clear – if you’ve smoked cannabis, don’t drive. Yet, the message isn’t being taken seriously on our nation’s roads, especially among teenage drivers. That’s because recent data shows that parents aren’t talking to their kids about the dangers of driving high. In fact, according to a recent PCI survey, only 31% of parents reported having spoken to their teen about the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana. In comparison, 67% of parents have warned their teens about seat belt use, 60% have warned them about texting and driving, and 50% have cautioned against talking on their cell phone while driving.
We serve clients charged with crimes anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.