Far too often, members of America’s expanding Cannabis Nation think they are better automobile drivers when they are stoned.
That is an outdated notion that needs to end. Drugged driving, as it’s officially titled, is a legitimate threat to personal and public safety, even if it’s not as pervasive as drinking-related traffic incidents.
Don’t believe it? Look at the stats.
Colorado’s Department of Transportation has the figures, and they aren’t pretty. In 2006, there were 721 drivers involved in fatal incidents. 27 drivers tested positive for cannabis only — around 3.74 percent. In 2012, there were fewer total fatalities — 630, but 35 drivers tested positive for cannabis only. That’s 5.56 percent.
Columbia University delivered a study to the American Journal of Epidemiology finding that, in 20 states that had legalized marijuana in some form or another, fatal accidents involving drivers with cannabis in their systems increased three-fold from 1999 to 2010.
People can debate the impact of drugged driving versus drunk driving, and discuss how, when they drive stoned, many claim to drive under the speed limit and check eight times before changing lanes. The more effective exercise is to just not do it. Instead, those under the influence of cannabis can lead by example and give the nation one more reason to support legal marijuana policy.
In our technology-driven world, it’s incredibly easy to stay away from the driver’s seat while impaired.
Everyone is familiar with on-demand car services Uber and Lyft. The two industry leaders provide private transportation in minutes at prices below traditional taxis and hired drivers. The drivers range from licensed limo operators to average Joe’s looking for some extra cash.
There are other services available, too.
Curb is one of them, and it’s different than its competitors because it provides on-demand access to professional car services and traditional taxis (i.e., no amateur drivers). The company was operating as taxi-hailing service Taxi Magic before it rebranded and widened its appeal. Today, users can reach Curb in 60 cities and can hail cabs from 90 companies, in addition to fully licensed and insured car services. In Colorado, the company works with industry giant Yellow Cab. Conveniently, riders can pay with cash, too.
Today, Curb and Weedmaps launched a joint promotional campaign to encourage safe driving. Through the campaign, first-time Curb users can use the promo code “WEEDMAPS” to receive $15 off their first ride.
“Our partnership with Weedmaps supports Curb’s core mission of providing safe, reliable ground travel to riders around the country,” said Matt Carrington, Curb’s vice president of marketing. “Together we can spread the word about responsible consumption and provide individuals with a viable, immediate alternative to driving impaired.”
If one is light on cash after a night (or day) of fun, fall back on the old reliable designated driver system. It’s free, and it keeps everyone safe. For those at a friend’s party — it’s best to stay there. Even with a pooch at home waiting, an overnight absence is preferable to a permanent one.
Along with any other intoxicant, cannabis-users have no reason to get behind the wheel after a night up in smoke. While a chauffeured ride home may cost a couple bucks, it’s far less than the some of the alternatives.