Poll: Teen Drivers Say Weed Helps Driving

New York — Most teenagers who drove under the influence of marijuana said the drug either improves their performance behind the wheel or is no hindrance, according to a survey by insurer Liberty Mutual Holding Co. and a safety group.

Thirty-four percent of those who have driven while high say the drug makes them a better motorist, and 41 percent said it had no effect, Boston-based Liberty Mutual said. Among teens who drove under the influence of alcohol, 62 percent said drinking affected their driving for the worse.

Teens’ attitudes show that parents need to do a better job of educating children about safe driving, Liberty Mutual and Students Against Destructive Decisions said in a statement yesterday disclosing survey results. They found that 23 percent of teens had driven under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or prescription drugs used illegally.

While there’s a clear association between alcohol and increased car-crash risk, the link between marijuana use and accidents is less certain, according to NORML, which seeks to decriminalize marijuana use by adults. Stoned drivers may slow down and require greater time to respond, the organization said on its website.

— Bloomberg News