Our traffic safety focus for the month of July is Impaired Driving.
Summer has arrived and many people will look forward to socializing in the warm weather, but should also think ahead to how they will get home safely. Collisions involving an impaired driver tend to occur more often during the summer months than during the rest of the year. Impaired driving is preventable when drivers choose to plan for a safe ride home.
Facts about impaired driving:
In 2018, one in ten drivers involved in a fatal collision was legally impaired at the time of the crash.
The majority of impaired driving crashes happen at night. Between 2014 and 2018, over half (51.8%) of impaired driving casualty collisions occurred between 7:00 pm and 3:00 am.
On average over the last five years, more than 5,000 people were convicted of impaired driving in Alberta each year.
Research shows cannabis use can reduce many cognitive and motor skills required to drive safely, such as tracking, reaction time, visual function, concentration, short-term memory, and divided attention. Combining cannabis with alcohol further intensifies the effects on driving skills, even if the doses of either substance are low.
The effects of consuming cannabis edibles take longer to kick in and last much longer than inhaling the drug. It may take up to two hours to feel effects, which can last 12 hours or longer.
According to Health Canada’s 2020 Canadian Cannabis Survey, 22% of people who had used cannabis in the past 12 months reported they had driven within two hours of using cannabis, and 39% of those respondents did so within the past 30 days.