On the whole, Albertans understand the danger of impaired driving. The number of people killed by a legally impaired driver (i.e., by alcohol and/or drugs) has decreased significantly over the years, with 2017 having the lowest number of fatalities on record at 37. However, there was still one in ten drivers involved in a fatal collision who was legally impaired. Even one driver could save lives by making the smart decision to find a safe way home instead of driving impaired.
Facts to Know:
- Impaired driving collisions tend to be more frequent during the summer months than in cooler seasons (2013 – 2017).
- The majority of impaired driving crashes happen at night. In 2017, over half (53.3%) of impaired driving casualty collisions occurred between 7:00 pm and 3:00 am.
- On average over the last five years, more than 6,000 people were convicted of impaired driving in Alberta each year.
- Research shows cannabis use can reduce many cognitive and motor skills required to drive safely, such as tracking, reaction time, visual function, concentration, short-term memory, and divided attention. Combining cannabis with alcohol further intensifies the effects on driving skills, even if the doses of either substance are low.
- The effects of consuming cannabis edibles take longer to kick in and last much longer than inhaling the drug. It may take up to two hours to feel effects, which can last 12 hours or longer.
- According to Health Canada’s 2019 Canadian Cannabis Survey, 26% of people who had used cannabis in the past 12 months reported they had driven within two hours of using cannabis, and 43% of those respondents did so within the past 30 days.