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More High School Seniors Smoking Pot and Driving [AUDIO]

We often hear about texting and driving or drinking and driving and about various other distractions that can happen while behind the wheel.

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But, researchers have found that more and more high school seniors are getting into a vehicle after smoking marijuana or with someone who has.

A recent survey by the Monitoring the Future project finds that 28 percent of high school seniors admit riding in a car with a driver who had used drugs or alcohol or driving the car after using drugs or alcohol themselves. Driving after marijuana use was up from 10 percent in 2008 to 12 percent in 2011.

“It’s very alarming. We do a lot of programs that involve high school students. We always try to get the message out about safe driving and we ask kids whether or not they have been in vehicles with drivers who are impaired and it is an alarming number of people who admit to doing so,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson AAA Mid-Atlantic. “More often than not, we hear from kids that they are less likely to get caught if they are driving after smoking marijuana than if they are driving after drinking.”

There is a lot of misconception out there about the effects of marijuana compared to the effects of alcohol and driving.

“I think people need to be very weary about getting in a vehicle or behind the wheel when they are impaired by a drug,” said Noble.

“The most important message that we need to get to teens is that they have a voice and they can choose a different option and one of those options is calling another friend or calling a parent. Parents need to express that it is ok for them to be on the receiving end of that phone call. Parents would much rather get that phone call then a call from the police telling them that their child has been in an accident.”

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