Teen Driving and Marijuana Use

More Than One in Four High School Seniors Drive After Using Alcohol or Drugs, or Ride With a Driver Who Has

Sep. 12, 2013 — More than a quarter of high school seniors drive after using alcohol or drugs, or ride with a driver who has. Driving after marijuana use on the rise. A new study in the American Journal of Public Health finds that 28 percent of U.S. high school seniors have driven after using drugs or drinking alcohol in the past two weeks, or ridden in a vehicle with a driver who did. In particular, driving after smoking marijuana has increased over the past three years. 

The data came from the Monitoring the Future project, which collects survey responses from 17,000 high school seniors annually. Researchers analyzed data from a portion of these results captured between 2001 and 2011. Questions inquired about the frequency of operating a vehicle after using drugs or drinking alcohol, the frequency of riding in a car with a driver who did, and additional demographic information. The study was sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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