Strategies to Educate the Public and Correct Misunderstandings About Cannabis Use and Impaired Driving

with the University of California, San Diego

Point of Contact


The liberalization of cannabis laws in many U.S. states and increasing public acceptance of cannabis use has raised concerns about people driving under its influence. Research has shown, however, that some people who consume cannabis are unaware of how or to what extent it may impact their ability to drive safely. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is working with researchers at the University of California San Diego to conduct research designed to improve efforts to prevent cannabis-impaired driving. 

Project Goal and Plan

The goal of this project is to understand the characteristics and motivations of people who drive after using cannabis and provide recommendations for communicating effectively with this population about safe driving.   

This research will begin with analysis of existing data from a previous survey of cannabis users in California along with interviews with subject matter experts. Insights will be used to inform the design of a survey to assess characteristics, attitudes, cannabis usage patterns, and driving behavior in a sample of approximately 2000 cannabis users in states with differing cannabis-related laws. The results of the surveys and interviews will inform the development of communication strategies which will then be tested in several states to inform recommendations and messaging to educate the public about the risks of cannabis use and driving. 


Lindsay Arnold

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety