Marijuana Drivers

Marijuana is safer for drivers than alcohol, teenagers said in a survey by Liberty Mutual Holding Co. and a group promoting responsible behavior among students.

Thirty-six percent of teens who drove after using marijuana said the drug wasn’t a distraction. Among those who reported drinking before driving, 19 percent said alcohol presented no distraction, according to a statement today from the Boston- based insurer.

Adolescents have become more receptive to marijuana use by drivers, according to the company, which conducted the survey with SADD, or Students Against Destructive Decisions. The portion of teens who said marijuana use was very distracting or extremely distracting to their driving fell to 70 percent in the most recent study from 78 percent two years earlier.

The data reflect “a dangerous trend toward the acceptance of marijuana and other substances,” Stephen Wallace, a senior adviser for policy, research, and education at SADD, said in the statement.

About 19 percent of teen drivers said they’ve been behind the wheel under the influence of marijuana, compared with 13 percent who report driving after drinking. The study included a survey of more than 2,000 teenagers in 11th and 12th grades last year at 28 high schools across the country.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Ludtke in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at

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