This survey suggests that teens are increasingly failing to see drugged driving as a danger. That attitude threatens to undue all the work that has been done to decrease the number of deaths caused by drunk driving.
Providence, RI (PRWEB) March 15, 2012
Reacting to a recent survey of teen drivers, Rhode Island car accident attorney Mark Gemma today called for raising more awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana and other drugs.
In the Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) survey, 19 percent of teen drivers said they had driven under the influence of marijuana. Only a third of those drivers said marijuana did not hinder their driving ability.
In contrast, in a 2009 Liberty Mutual Insurance/SADD survey, 78 percent of teens characterized marijuana use as “very” or “extremely” distracting to their driving.
“This survey suggests that teens are increasingly failing to see drugged driving as a danger,” Gemma said. “That attitude threatens to undue all the work that has been done to decrease the number of deaths caused by drunk driving."
“To me, this means we need to embark on educational and law enforcement campaigns in Rhode Island and across the nation. We need to teach young drivers that marijuana and other drugs are no different than alcohol. Drugged driving is dangerous.”
The survey involved 2,300 high school juniors and seniors. Thirteen percent of the surveyed teens said they have driven after drinking. Nineteen percent of those drivers did not consider drinking a major distraction while driving.
He said the trend revealed by the survey is particularly distressing in light of the trend toward fewer drunk driving fatalities in recent years.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in December that deadly drunk-driving crashes dropped 4.9 percent nationally in 2010 from 2009.
“We cannot let the gains we have made fade away in the fog of teenage misperception and marijuana smoke,” Gemma said. “Marijuana has a detrimental effect on memory, judgment and perception. Those are facts. Marijuana is potentially deadly behind the wheel.”
Gemma said that public campaigns that have been successful at decreasing drunk driving accidents should include more information about marijuana and other drugs.
“At our law firm, we stand up for those who have been harmed by drunk drivers and drugged drivers,” Gemma said. “Our ultimate hope is that these types of car accidents never happen. We’ll continue to encourage and support all efforts to encourage young drivers to make smart decisions behind the wheel.”
About Gemma Law Associates, Inc.
Gemma Law Associates, Inc., is a Providence, RI, law firm that has represented the people of Rhode Island for more than 48 years. The firm has earned a reputation for success in several practice areas. These areas include drunk driving accidents (DWIs / DUIs), car accidents, personal injury, workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, divorce, criminal defense and bankruptcy law. The law firm’s staff works as a team to ensure success in cases. They are backed by a state-of-the-art collection of resources, including an advanced computerized case management system and an extensive legal library.
The firm represents clients throughout the state of Rhode Island, including Providence, Pawtucket, Warwick, Washington County and Newport County. To learn more about Gemma Law Associates, Inc., call (401) 467-2300 or use the firm’s online contact form.