The Road Safety Monitor (RSM) is a unique, annual public opinion survey that takes the pulse of the nation on key traffic safety issues and tracks changes in behaviours, attitudes, and opinions of Canadians by means of a telephone and on-line survey of a random, representative sample of Canadian drivers. More than 40 years of research has proven that the risks associated with driving while under the influence of alcohol are substantial, resulting in widespread recognition of this social problem. However, there is less concrete evidence regarding the prevalence, risks and implications of drugged driving, or drug-impaired driving. At the same time, there are indications that the problem is a growing source of concern. Consequently, the issue of drug-impaired driving has emerged as an internationally recognized problem in the past decade, bringing with it competing perspectives, misconceptions and diverse opinions about how to address it.
Results from the 2017 RSM and previous years showed that drugged driving continues to be a prevalent issue among Canadians. Of concern are the increasing trends in the percentages of drivers that report driving within two hours of using marijuana or hashish from 2013 to 2017 and other illegal drugs from 2012 to 2017. The data from 2017 also revealed significant sex differences among drugged drivers. Male drivers were more likely to drive under the influence of illegal drugs including marijuana and hashish. Young drivers (aged 16 to 24 years) were more likely to admit to driving under the influence of over-the-counter drugs and also illegal drugs including marijuana or hashish. These findings highlight the need for increased public awareness about the risks associated with drugs and driving. In 2017, when the survey was conducted, marijuana was an illegal drug.
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Project Status: Ongoing
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