A survey conducted by the Gallup group showed that American citizens are more concerned with drunk drivers on the road, than people driving under the influence of other substances. Overall, 97% of people who were surveyed cited alcohol as the number one concern they have for drivers on the road. While participants were not asked to rate substances based on how impaired a substance made a driver, they were instead asked what substance concerned them the most regarding other driver’s safety on the road.
The results of the survey show that despite a countrywide attack on drunk driving, including public service announcements, education and increased punishment for those who are caught driving while under the influence of alcohol, there is still great worry over the safety of the roads. It also shows that it is difficult to change behavior simply with laws and PSAs. There must be more ways to influence people to eliminate their drunk driving patterns.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and other public groups have helped to make a significant push for more accountability for drunk drivers as well as more public awareness about the issue. Way too many people have lost their lives. This Gallup survey also revealed that teenagers agree with adults that alcohol is more dangerous to consume prior to getting behind the wheel than other drugs.
Experts do agree that while marijuana does not appear to pose as great a risk to other drivers as alcohol, this might change as more and more states begin to legalize marijuana. It is unclear how the amount of people who smoke marijuana and drive will change, but it is likely to increase. Additionally, people are more prone to mix alcohol and marijuana, which is much more dangerous than either substance by itself.